The story of the Sanati Museum of Kerman is tangled with the inspirational story of Ali Akbar Sanati Zadeh, one of Iran’s most prominent sculptors. Ali Akbar Sanati Zadeh’s name has an interesting story. His namesake, Akbar Sanati Zadeh, known as Haj Akbar, was looking to do something for the people of his city, Kerman. After coming back from the Hajj pilgrimage in 1916, he opened an orphanage in Kerman. According to the officials, almost 4,000 kids were under the support of this orphanage. Since most of the kids didn’t have any identity documents, Haj Akbar asked the registration authorities to issue all the kids ID documents with his own last name, Sanati Zadeh. Ali Akbar Sanati Zadeh was one of those kids. Ali Akbar was very talented in art. Haj Akbar motivated him to follow his talent and sent him to Tehran to pursue sculpture art courses, under the best teachers of the time. Today, Ali Akbar Sanati Zadeh is known as the father of Iranian modern sculpture.
The orphanage started its cultural activities with a workshop and exhibition of paintings and sculptures of Ali Akbar Sanati Zadeh in 1949. The Sanati Orphanage converted to a permanent exhibition of artworks of Ali Akbar Sanati Zadeh and some other artists from all around the world. Artworks such as calligraphies, paintings, drawings and sculptures can be found in the Sanati Contemporary Arts Museum.
The museum has two main halls. One is full of artworks of Sanati himself. The other one contains artworks by some other famous Iranian artists such as Sohrab Sepeheri and Kamal-ol-Molk along with works by other foreign artists.
In the gift shop of the museum, you can find local handicrafts at reasonable prices. The courtyard of the museum has a typical persian garden design and, as a result of being an orphanage, is a suitable area to let your kids play and run around.