Houston Opening

After being viewed by more than 155,000 visitors in DC, the Cyrus Cylinder and its accompanying exhibition has arrived in Houston, where the exhibition The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia will be on display from May 3rd through June 14th, 2013 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (follow us on facebook for latest updates).

The opening reception and dinner in honor of the exhibition took place at the MFA Houston with more than 180 distinguished guests and an exclusive viewing of the exhibition. The reception began with a special ceremony performed by Zorostrian priest Dastoor Bahmanshah Sanjana who chanted a blessing for the Cyrus Cylinder to open the festivities, and was accompanied by live music performed by Iranian musicians.

Prior to the dinner remarks were delivered by Gary Tinterow (MFA Houston), Abolala Soudavar (IHF America), and John Curtis (British Museum). During the remarks Mr. Tinterow announced receiving the letter by the 41st president of the United States, George H.W. Bush, recognizing the Cyrus Cylinder and its arrival in Houston, and acknowledging the British Museum, the Iran Heritage Foundation, and the Ansary Foundation.

Dastoor Bahmanshah Sanjana blessing the Cyrus Cylinder. Photo: Reza Ganji / IHF America

Dastoor Bahmanshah Sanjana blessing the Cyrus Cylinder. Photo: Reza Ganji / IHF America

Huge exterior banner at MFA Houston capturing the attention of people who drive by. Photo: Mandana Fard / IHF America Huge exterior banner at MFA Houston capturing the attention of people who drive by. Photo: Reza Ganji / IHF America The exhibition wall. Photo: Reza Ganji / IHF America Frances Marzio and John Curtis, curators of the exhibition from MFA Houston and the British Museum. Photo: Reza Ganji / IHF America

Wall across the hall from the exhibition space, showing an image of the south side of the Darius Palace at Persepolis. Photo: Mandana Fard / IHF America.

Wall across the hall from the exhibition space, showing an image of the south side of the Darius Palace at Persepolis. Photo: Mandana Fard / IHF America.

Dastoor Bahmanshah Sanjana blessing the Cyrus Cylinder. Photo: Jenny Antill / MFAHThe Cyrus Cylinder. Photo: Reza Ganji / IHF AmericaDastoor Bahmanshah Sanjana blessing the Cyrus Cylinder. Photo: Reza Ganji / IHF AmericaDastoor Bahmanshah Sanjana blessing the Cyrus Cylinder. Photo: Reza Ganji / IHF America

Abolala Soudavar, Eddie Tajvari, John and Vesta Curtis. Photo: Jenny Antill / MFAH
Frances Marzio, Chief Curator at the MFA Houston. Photo: Jenny Antill / MFAH
Mahrukh Tarapor, Dr. Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis. Photo: Jenny Antill / MFAH
Wendy Adamson, Clare Eardley (both from the British Museum). Photo: Jenny Antill / MFAH

Letter from President George H.W. Bush
At the dinner table. Photo: Jenny Antill / MFAH
John Curtis. Photo: Jenny Antill / MFAH
Abolala Soudavar. Photo: Jenny Antill / MFAH

Live Persian music during reception. Photo: Jenny Antill / MFAH
Photo: Reza Ganji / IHF America
Photo: Reza Ganji / IHF America
Photo: Reza Ganji / IHF America
Photo: Reza Ganji / IHF America

Photo: Reza Ganji / IHF America
Photo: Reza Ganji / IHF America
Photo: Reza Ganji / IHF America
Column base with old Persian inscription. Photo: Reza Ganji / IHF America
Brich with the inscription of Cyrus. Photo: Mandana Fard / IHF America
Plaque with embossed decoration showing a priest, from the Oxus Treasure. Photo: Reza Ganji / IHF America

More guest photos can be viewed on the Houston Chronicle website.

Press and Interviews

During the opening day and the following weekend, Gary Tinterow (Director of the MFA Houston), Frances Marzio (Chief Curator of the MFA Houston), and John Curtis (Keeper of Special Middle East Projects, the British Museum) gave interviews to provide background and context about the significance of the exhibition, especially in Houston.

Recording the interview with Gary Tinterow, Director of the MFA Houston. Photo: Reza Ganji / IHFInterview with Frances Marzio, Chief Curator at the MFA Houston. Photo: Reza Ganji / IHFInterview with John Curtis, curator of the exhibition, British Museum. Photo: Reza Ganji / IHF

Opening Weekend

The exhibition was well received during the opening weekend. Dr. John Curtis and Dr. Vesta Sarkhosh of the British Museum provided a presentation and a talk, and answered questions.

Photo: Mandana Fard / IHF America Photo: Mandana Fard / IHF America Photo: Mandana Fard / IHF America Photo: Mandana Fard / IHF America Photo: Mandana Fard / IHF America Photo: Mandana Fard / IHF America Photo: Mandana Fard / IHF America Photo: Mandana Fard / IHF America

Visiting the Exhibition

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is open seven days a week starting at 10am (12:15am on Sundays) with extended hours on Thursdays. Access to the exhibition is free with the price of admission. For more information please see the exhibition page on the MFAH website. and the MFAH’s Hours and Admissions page.