Women's Worlds in Qajar Iran

Women's Worlds in Qajar Iran

Shaykh al-Islam's house

Shaykh al-Islam's house

Three photographs and three drawings of the Shaykh al-Islam House in Qazvin. The three photos–of the Biruni taken from the street, the Divan-khanah taken from the yard, and the Andaruni taken from the yard–were digitized from prints made of old negatives. Jaleh Jalili drew the house plan, based on sketches provided by Bahram Sheikholeslami, on the basis of his childhood memories of growing up in this complex.

The three drawings represent the plans of three levels of the Shaykh al-Islam complex. Built in Qazvin in the Qajar era, the complex was meant to serve as the living space for the extended family and to cater to guests and visitors hosted in the biruni of the complex. Since most of the building is now destroyed, Bahram Sheikholeslami’s detailed memory of the complex and a few photos taken before the demolition of the house allowed for the creation of these plans.

Item Details

  • Date late 19th/early 20th century
  • Notes

    Although they are not exact in terms of dimensions and details, the plans provide an outstanding image of how different parts of this building worked together and how a complex set of relations among spaces, and among people who resided in those spaces, shaped the circulation and functionality of the different parts of the complex. A combination of living spaces, service sections, and hosting areas have made this complex building an interesting representation of different aspects of Shaykh al-Islam family life. More broadly, these plans help us understand a way of life that necessitated and nurtured these spaces to create an example, par excellence, of the complicated relationships that shaped the lives of people who inhabited this complex.

  • Collections Old Houses Bahram Sheikholeslami
  • Accessed 18 August 2014
  • Last Edited 6 October 2014
  • Record no. 1139A182
  •