HONAR O MARDOM

HONAR O MARDOM, a monthly magazine published by the General Office of Fine Arts in the Ministry of Education (Edāra-ye koll-e honarhā-ye zibā, Wezārat-e farhang). The first issue was published in March 1957, under the managing editorship of Firuz Bāqerzāda, but publication soon ceased. Eventually in October 1962 it was resumed and continued to be published until November 1979. From 1980 onwards, the magazine was published under the new title Muzahā, with a few minor changes in the scope of its content. Muzahā was renumbered.

With the establishment of the Ministry of Culture and the Arts (Wezārat-e farhang o honar) in 1964, Honar o mardom became the official publication of that ministry’s General Office of Cultural Relations (Edāra-ye koll-e rawābeṭ-e farhangi). After a brief interruption due to the events of the Revolution in the first half of 1978, a double issue (nos. 191-192) was published in Mehr/September of that year. The last issue of Honar o mardom, no. 193 (Āḏar 1358 Š./November 1979), was published under the auspices of the Cultural Under-Secretariat of the Ministry of Culture and Higher Education (Moʿāwenat-e farhangi-e Wezārat-e farhang wa āmuzeš-e ʿāli), which replaced the Ministry of Culture and the Arts, and the Ministry of Sciences (Wezārat-e ʿolum).

From 1962 to the Revolution of 1978-79, Honar o mardom was published under the directorship of Abu’l-Qāsem Ḵodā-bandalu, a physician who also had a university degree in Persian literature. ʿEnāyat-Allāh Ḵojasta and Bižan Samandar served as editors under Ḵodā-bandalu during the periods 1962-73 and 1973-76, respectively. After the Revolution the magazine was published under the direction of an editorial board. Under Samandar’s editorship in the mid-70s, F. Kāzeruni was responsible for the format and artistic layout, succeeding Ṣādeq Barirāni, the previous incumbent, who resumed this role after Kāzeruni. The last pre-revolutionary issues were published with the collaboration of Ḏabiḥ-Allāh Bodāḡi.

Honar o mardom published articles on the arts, literature, folklore, ethnography, and history. They were either written or translated by the ministry’s experts, as well as by university professors and independent researchers. The magazine’s expressed aim was to revive the nation’s cultural heritage, while also familiarizing its readers with the cultural heritage of other countries. Therefore, as stated in the editorial article of its very first issue, it adopted an accessible style of prose for the benefit of the public at large. The price of the earliest issues is unknown, but when publication resumed in 1962 the price was set at six riāls for a single issue, increasing to ten riāls in Šahrivar 1352 Š./September 1973, and subsequently to twenty riāls at the start of 1356 Š./March 1977. There was always a concessionary half-price rate for students and employees of the ministry, and the journal never published advertisements. The relatively low price and the accessible style of prose helped to make Honar o mardom popular, especially among art enthusiasts and students.

During its first phase (1957-62), the magazine’s format was twenty-eight single-column pages, 14.5 x 21.5 cm in size, and it was typeset at the Tābān printing house. During its second phase (from 1962 onwards), it was printed at the Fine Arts printing house (Čāp-ḵāna-ye honarhā-ye zibā-ye kešvar), and its format was between thirty-four and one hundred and twenty single-column pages, 22 x 28.5 cm in size. (Most often it was forty-eight to fifty-two pages long, and occasionally it had a two-column layout.) The magazine’s cover was always in color, featuring Persian miniatures, calligraphy, images of hand-woven works, as well as archeological monuments and relics. Many illustrations were also included inside the magazine.

The issues published during its second phase, that is, after 1962, are available in most libraries in Persia, as well as in a few research libraries abroad.

Bibliography:

Šahin Esfandiāri et al., Maṭbuʿāt-e Irān: fehrest-e taḥlili-e Ketāb-ḵāna-ye Majles-e Senā, Tehran, 1979, p. 239.

Fehrest-e majallāt-e mawjud dar Ketāb-ḵāna-ye Āstān-e Qods-e Rażawi, Mašhad, 1982, pp. 332-33, no. 496.

Rudolph Mach and Robert D. McChesney, eds., “A List of Persian Serials in the Princeton University Library,” unpubl., Princeton, 1971.

Bižan Sartipzādeh and Kobrā Ḵodāparast, Fehrest-e majallahā-ye mawjud dar Ketāb-ḵāna-ye melli-e Irān, Tehran, 1978, pp. 275-76, no. 517.

Ursula Sims-Williams, Union Catalogue of Persian Serials and Newspapers in British Libraries, London, 1985, no. 201.

Laylā Sudbaḵš, Fehrest-e našriāt-e adwāri-e Ketāb-ḵāna-ye markazi-e Fārs, 1989, p. 807, no. 1085.

(Nassereddin Parvin)

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