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December 9, 2004

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Family Christmas Cards
In December 1952, Sumbat Der Kiureghian (1913-1999), perhaps the most important watercolor artist of Iran in the 20th century [], surprised his family by making a small painting that showed the family riding a horse-driven carriage on a snowy road near a river with a bridge and a mosque showing in the distance - a typical Isfahan scene.

The faces were cut outs from a photograph and the rest was watercolor, his creation. The blending of the photographed faces and the painting was done so well that one could not see a difference in texture or color tones. Photographs of this painting were used as the family Christmas card for that year. Sumbat continued this tradition for 22 years, often using ethnic subjects.

The members of the family are: Sumbat's wife, Arax (born 1921), first daughter Siroush (born 1945), son Armen (born 1947), second daughter Tagoush (born 1959) and, of course, Bobee the dog.

Sent by
Armen Der Kiureghian
Professor of Civil Engineering
UC Berkeley

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