Mural on Indian Red Ground

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Mural on Indian Red Ground
Mural on Indian Red Ground.jpg
ArtistJackson Pollock
Year1950 (1950)
Typeoil painting
Dimensions180 cm × 240 cm (72 in × 96 in)
LocationTehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran

Mural on Indian Red Ground is a 1950 abstract expressionist drip painting by American artist Jackson Pollock, currently in the collection of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art. It is valued at about $250 million[1] and is considered one of Pollock's greatest works.[2]


The collection of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art was bought during Iran's 1970s oil boom under the supervision of queen Farah Diba.[3][4] The museum was established in 1977 but the collection was displayed for only a short period. After the 1979 revolution, the paintings were stored in the basement of the museum and carefully looked after for about 30 years. In a 2005 exhibition Mural on Indian Red Ground and many other paintings were displayed for the first time after the revolution.[5][6][7]

Today, Mural on Indian Red Ground is considered one of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art's prize pieces.[8] The painting was loaned to Japan in 2012 and was displayed in an exhibition in the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jackson Pollock.[9] In return to Iran on 11 May 2012, the painting was seized in the Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport by Iran's customs service. The service said it confiscated the work over money owed by the Ministry of Culture, which ran the museum.[8] After more than two weeks, the painting was finally released and returned to the museum.[10] The painting was, around 2010, valued by Christie's at $250 million.[11]:52


  1. ^ "Tehran Museum to Display Masterpiece in Japan." FARS News Agency. 2011. HighBeam Research. (September 27, 2015). (subscription required)
  2. ^ Vogel 2003.
  3. ^ Dehghan 2012.
  4. ^ Tait 2007.
  5. ^ Dehghan, Saeed Kamali (2012-08-01). "Tehran exhibition reveals city's hidden Warhol and Hockney treasures". the Guardian. Retrieved 2015-09-27.
  6. ^ The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia 2007.
  7. ^ Hammond & Hammond 2012.
  8. ^ a b BBC News 2012.
  9. ^ Olsen 2012.
  10. ^ "Jackson Pollock Artwork Held Hostage by Customs." Iran Times International (Washington, DC). 2012. HighBeam Research. (September 27, 2015). (subscription required)
  11. ^ Waldman, Peter; Motevalli, Golnar (23 November 2015). "The Greatest Museum Never Known". Bloomberg Businessweek. pp. 50–55.