Moscow; Leningrad: Izd-vo Akad. nauk SSSR, 1939. Item #1092
XII, 302 pp., СХХIV ill.: ill. 34.6x27.2 cm. In original publisher’s full cloth with gilt lettering on the front board and the spine. Edges slightly bumped with the tear to the lower right edge of the front board, two last pages are slightly loose. Otherwise a very good copy.
First edition. Scarce. Title-page and preface in Russian and French. Edited by the director of the Hermitage, professor Ioseb Orbeli (1887-1961).
The book is dedicated to the III International Congress of Iranian Art and Archeology held at the Hermitage (Leningrad) and the House of the Red Army (Moscow) in 1935. The first two international congresses took place in Pennsylvania and London in 1926 and 1931 respectively. The choice of the venue for the next congress was predetermined by Ioseb Orbeli’s success at the London Congress, where he displayed works of the oriental art from the museums of the USSR. The III International Congress began on September 11 and lasted for 5 days. The event attracted 188 delegates and 153 competing members from countries all over the world. Each of the delegates presented a report on the specific topic from Iranian art or archeology. In addition to the Congress, the Hermitage’s East Department opened an exhibition of Iranian art that brought together the richest collections of the Soviet and foreign museums, including the Louvre and the Hermitage itself.
The edition features the reports (total 48) that were read at the Congress. Texts are published in the original language (Russian, English, French, or German) and are accompanied by the resumes either in Russian or French. Reports which had been printed in press before the appearance of the book are presented in the shorter versions. Topics of the text vary from expeditions to Iran to the importance of tradition in Iranian art. Among the authors are: Shalva Amirkhanashvili, Robert Byron, Henri Gallois, Phyllis Ackerman, Mehdi Bahrami, Ioseb Orbeli, etc. Importantly, the edition houses 123 tables illustrating Iranian items displayed at the exhibition and important Iranian monuments. Each table indicates its contributor.
Overall, an extremely rare illustrative document of the time.
Worldcat shows copies of the edition at Princeton University Library, University of Michigan, and Getty Library.