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How a unique alliance between two women in the 1970s led to the acquisition of a treasure trove of modern art now worth billions
In the 1970s, American curator Donna Stein served as an art advisor to Empress Farah Diba Pahlavi, the Shahbanu of Iran. Together, Stein and Pahlavi generated an art market in Iran, as Stein encouraged Pahlavi's patronage of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art. Today, the contemporary section of the Iranian National Collection--most of which continues to languish in storage--is considered one of the most significant collections of modern art outside of Europe and the United States.
The Empress and I is a vivid account of Stein's experience at the height of this storied intercultural initiative In crafting her highly readable narrative, Stein cites a number of previously confidential documents, including private correspondence with artists and dealers. This text explores the relationship between two women united by their shared passion for the arts and the continued legacy of their partnership in today's art world.