Hossein Farmani, Founder and Chief curator of Steve McCurry’s House Kashan, Iran. Photography © Courtesy of Hossein Farmani
1.What is your museum about and what is your work there?
The Steve’s House it’s a collection of work by photographer Steve McCurry. There are over 400 images covering his work from over 50 years. The exhibition is in the ancient city of Kashan which is known for its architecture and famous carpets.
We acquired a couple of houses there that are over a hundred years old, and restored them to be used as museums, trying to keep as much as possible of the original shape. Through my long-time friendship with Steve McCurry, we were able to create the first museum dedicated to his works.
The museum has become a tourist attraction for the city, drawing visitors from all corners of the world to the museum. The museum is in 3 levels and hosts a media room to view Steve’s interviews and video works, and a library that not only contains Mr. McCurry’s books but also other international and local photographers books.
2.How is your museum dealing with the coronavirus crisis?
We have been closed to visitors for the last 2 months and we will stay closed until it’s safe for people to visit. However, through our website and virtual tour (coming soon) people can visit the museum online.
3.What is the impact on your digital activity? Do you have tips to share with your colleagues?
With the advances in virtual technology and how easy it is to create and use virtual museums and exhibitions, we have been able to reach new audiences that before were not able to physically visit the museums.
I am hoping all my friends in the international museum circle take advantage of these unprecedented times to create a better digital experience for art enthusiasts around the world.
We are planning to create online curated exhibitions and invite young enthusiasts and students, for example, to learn to curate works through this platform.
4.Are you already preparing yourself for the reopening? Tell us in what way.
Although the city has opened its doors and businesses in the city are open, we will keep the museum closed till we feel it is safe. Even then, our staff and all visitors must wear masks, and we can provide free masks, designed by our staff, as a gift.
We will only allow a limited number of people to visit at one time so we are able to maintain social distancing. Our exhibition openings and major events are on hold for now. The museum will be operating with caution so we do not become a source of infection. We hope that soon we can go back to our regular programming.
Interview by Fabio Pariante, journalist
Steve’s House Kashan on social networks: Instagram
Hossein Farmani born in Tehran, Iran, is an international photographer, curator of exhibitions and art galleries, founder and President of the Lucie Awards in New York.
Hossein moved to Los Angeles in 1975, where he began studying at the Hollywood Academy in Hollywood, California and studied film and photography at Orange Coast College. In 1980, after graduating from Golden West College, Farmani worked in a professional photography studio. Subsequently, he opened his private photography studio at Costa Mesa, also in California.
In 2019, he founded first and only permanent exhibition of Steve McCurry in Kashan called Steve’s House and Hassan and Hossein Rowshanbakht (twins) helped him with renovating and managing space. Farmani has curated over 200 exhibitions internationally.