International Journal of Historical Archaeology

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 591–611 | Cite as

“The Painter in Two Frames”: An Archaeological Investigation of Kamal-ol Molk’s Agency in the Field of Art and Politics

Article

Abstract

An agent’s actions in different fields and its changes can leave material traces. Therefore, archaeology in its broadest methodological meaning surveys material culture and seeks to investigate an agent’s action in a process. Our archaeological excavation in Neshat Garden led to the discovery of material traces of lifestyle changes of a well-known agent from the late Qajar/early Pahlavi era. Mohammad-e Qafari, nicknamed Kamal-ol Molk, was a famous painter of the Qajar court. He left the court in middle age and entered politics as an agent of opposition. Kamal’s journey to Europe was a turning point that extended to the end of his life. At the same time, Iran’s sociopolitical context experienced significant evolution, including the Mashroute Movement and the rise of Pahlavi dynasty to power. Such mutations made Kamal-ol Molk abandon/change his activities in the field of art, sponsored by the power structure, to engage in political activity. His exile/compulsory migration to a faraway village in northeastern Iran is the outcome of his political activities. The present research is based on archaeological surveys and excavations in two sites: Kamal-ol Molk’s house and Neshat Garden. The archaeological investigation of Kamal’s life in context, his paintings, letters, and photos as a long-term process reveals an artist who was also political. His agency in politics was so effective that in order for the “holy honorable party” to survive, he sometimes ordered assassinations.

Keywords

Kamal-ol Molk Field Agency Qajar dynasty Pahlavi dynasty Opposition 

References

  1. Abrahamian, E. (1982). Iran between Two Revolutions, Princeton University Press, New Brunswick, NJ.Google Scholar
  2. Adamiat, F. (1983). Amir Kabir and Iran, Kharazmi, Tehran (in Farsi).Google Scholar
  3. Adorno, T. W. (1950). The Authoritarian Personality, Harper and Row, New York.Google Scholar
  4. Amanat, A. (1997). The Pivot of the Universe: Nasir al-Din Shah Qajar and the Iranian Monarchy, 1831–1896, I. B Tauris, London.Google Scholar
  5. Arent, H. (1951). The Origins of Totalitarianism, Schocken, New York.Google Scholar
  6. Ashraf, A., and Diba, L. (2010). Kamal-Al-Molk, Mohammad Ḡaffari. Encyclopedia Iranica 15: 417–433.Google Scholar
  7. Ashtiani, E. (1963). History of Kamal ol Molk’s Life. Honar va Mardom 7: 57–81.Google Scholar
  8. Atabaki, T., and Zurcher, E. J. (2004). Men of Order: Authoritarian Modernization under Ataütrk and Reza Shah, I. B Tauris, London.Google Scholar
  9. Ayatollahi, H., and Haghshenas, S. (2003). The Book of Iran: The History of Iranian Art, Alhoda, London.Google Scholar
  10. Barret, J. (2001). Agency, the duality of structure, and the problem of the archaeological record. In Hodder, I. (ed.), Archaeological Theory Today, Wiley-Blackwell, London, pp. 141–164.Google Scholar
  11. Bayat, K. (1999). Khorasan Revolution, Research Institute for Culture Studies, Tehran (in Farsi).Google Scholar
  12. Bosworth, C. E. (1983). Qajar Iran: Political, Social and Culture Change, Mazda Publishers, Costa Mesa, CA, pp. 1800–1925.Google Scholar
  13. Bourdieu, P. (1977). Outline of a Theory of Practice. Nice, R. (trans.), Cambridge University Press, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Bourdieu, P. (1984). Distinction, Nice, R. (trans.), Routledge and Kegan Paul, London.Google Scholar
  15. Bourdieu, P. (1993). The Field of Culture Production. Johnson, R. (trans.), Columbia University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  16. Bourdieu, P. (1996). The Rules of Art: Genesis of Structure of the Literary Field. Emanuel, S. (trans.), Stanford University Press, Palo Alto, CA.Google Scholar
  17. Bourdieu, P. (1998). Practical Reason: On the Theory of Action. Johnson R. (trans.), Stanford University Press, Palo Alto, CA.Google Scholar
  18. Bourdieu, P. (2001). Langage et Pouvoir Symbolique, Seuil, Paris.Google Scholar
  19. Bourdieu, P., and Wacquant, L. (2002). An Invitation to Reflective Sociology, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  20. Dehbashi, A. (1989). Kamal ol Molk Letters, BehNashr, Tehran (in Farsi).Google Scholar
  21. Diba, L. (1998). Royal Persian Painting: The Qajar Epoch, I. B Tauris, New York, pp. 1785–1925.Google Scholar
  22. Dornan, J. L. (2002). Agency and archaeology: past, present, and future directions. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 9: 303–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Farmanfarmaian, R. (2008). War and Peace in Qajar Persia: Implication Past and Present, Routledge, London.Google Scholar
  24. Floor, W. M. (2003). Agriculture in Qajar, Mage Waldorf, Washington DC.Google Scholar
  25. Floor, W. M. (2005). Wall Painting and other Figurative Mural Art in Qajar, Mazda Publishers, Costa Mesa, CA.Google Scholar
  26. Foran, J. (1993). Fragile Resistance: Social Transformation in Iran From 1500 to the Revolution, Boulder, CO., Westview.Google Scholar
  27. Ghani, C., and Ghani, S. (2001). Iran and the Rise of Reza Shah: From Qajar Collapse to Pahlavi Rule, I. B Tauris, New York.Google Scholar
  28. Giddens, A. (2004). Basic Sociology. Sabouri, M. (ed.). Nei, Tehran (in Persian).Google Scholar
  29. Hambly, G. (1991). In Avary, P., Hambly, G., and Melville, C. (eds.), The traditional Iranian city in Qajar period. Cambridge History of Iran, 7th ed, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 542–589.Google Scholar
  30. Hodder, I., and Huston, S. (2003). Reading the Past: Current Approaches to Interpretation in Archaeology, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Johnson, M. (1989). Conceptions of agency in archaeological interpretation. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 8: 189–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kasravi, A. (2004). History of Mashroote Iran, AmirKabir, Tehran (in Farsi).Google Scholar
  33. Keddie, N. R. (1999). Qajar Iran and the rise of Reza Khan, 1976–1925, Mazda Publishers, Costa Mesa, CA.Google Scholar
  34. Martin, J. L. (2003). What is field theory? American Journal of Sociology 109(1): 1–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mirza Saleh, G. (1987). Kolonel Mohamad Taghi Khan Movement, Nashr-e Tarikh, Tehran (in Farsi).Google Scholar
  36. Papoli Yazdi, L., Dezhamkhooy, M., and Naeimi, M. (2013). A report on a party and the guests. Archaeologies: Journal of the World Archaeological Congress 9: 132–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Parastesh, S. H., and Mohammadi Nezhad, M. (2010). Social analysis of Kamal al Molk artwork in the Iranian Painting Field. Sociology of Art and Literature 1: 103–134. in Farsi.Google Scholar
  38. Parker, J. (2000). Structuration, Open University Press, Buckingham.Google Scholar
  39. Parsaee, K. (2001). Kamal al Molk, Dabir, Tehran (in Farsi).Google Scholar
  40. Perry, J. R. (2006). Karim Khan Zand (Makers of the Muslim World), One World, London.Google Scholar
  41. Pinto, L. (1996). The theory of field and sociology of literature: reflections on the work of Pierre Bourdiou. International Journal of Contemporary Sociology 32: 177–186.Google Scholar
  42. Robbins, D. (2000). Bourdieu and Culture, Sage, London.Google Scholar
  43. Sariolghalam, M. (2010). Iranian Authoritarianism during the Qajar period, Farzan Rooz, Tehran (in Farsi).Google Scholar
  44. Shabahang, B., and Dehbashi, A. (2000). Obituary of Kamal al Molk, Chakameh, Tehran (in Farsi).Google Scholar
  45. Soheilie Khansari, A. (1989). Kamal-e Honar (Perfection of Art: Life and works of Mohammad Ghaffari, Soroush, Tehran (in Farsi).Google Scholar
  46. Swartz, D. (1997). Culture and Power: The Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  47. Vanessa, M. (1989). Islam and Modernism: The Iranian Revolution of 1906, Syracuse University Press, Syracuse, NY.Google Scholar
  48. Zaker, A. (1998). The Political Literature of Iran in Mashroote Era Nashr- e elm, Tehran (in Farsi).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologyUniversity of BirjandBirjandIran
  2. 2.Golestan UniversityGorganIran

Personalised recommendations