Mostafa Akhavass is a Persian master artist in the forms of traditional crafts such as gilding ”tazheeb” (decorative illustration and inscriptions), calligraphy, Persian enameling “minakari”, ceramic, and Persian miniature painting.

With over forty years of professional experience, Akhavass is widely recognized for his unique and innovative techniques, which incorporate his own refined visual, and conceptual vocabulary with his traditional crafts.

He has been a professor of art at several universities in Iran, most recently at the University of Applied Science and Technology (UAST) since 2010, Alzahra University in 2007 and etc.  

He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Iranian Ministry of Art, and he is the winner of the 2014 Asia’s Living Treasures Award. Mostafa Akhavass’s artwork can be found in a myriad of public, private art collections, and museums of art in Iran and abroad, and has appeared in numerous exhibitions worldwide. He currently resides and continues his art works in Tehran, Iran and San Francisco, California, USA.  

Education and Career

Born in 1950, Mostafa began painting as a child, and throughout his youth cultivated the original techniques that lay the foundation of his career and passion for art.

After graduating from art school, he went on to study painting, calligraphy, and gilding (decorative painting, using gold and color, applied to the margin of paintings or calligraphy) during the late 1970s and early 80s from several well-known masters in Tehran, including, Mohammad Ali Zaviyeh (Iranian miniature), Abdollah Bagheri (gilding or tazheeb), and Gholamhossein Amirkhani (calligraphy). Mostafa had a keen ability to assimilate these masters’ acute attention to form, which he incorporated into his own unique artistic voice. 

Mostafa’s passion for art and painting has inspired him to teach traditional arts as a distinguished professor of art at several Iranian art universities and institutions. In recognition of his unique talent and skill, he received an honorary doctoral degree in art from the Ministry of Culture in Iran.
Designer and executive artist in the Traditional Arts Institute at the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization in Tehran, Iran 1996-2016.


First prize of painting in the 7th International Quran Exhibition of Art in Iran

First prize of painting in the 17th International Exhibition of Art in Iran.‬

‪First prize in 3rd Biennial of Iranian Miniature.‬

‪First prize in 6th and 7th Exhibition of wooden arts held in “Cultural Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism”, Organization of Iran.‬

‪Received the letter of commendation from Iran Academy of Art in ceremonies honoring the Iranian traditional arts pioneers.‬

Obtaining letter of commendation from UNESCO secretary –general in Miniature and Gilding in ceremonies honoring the “Markazi” province’s art ‬pioneers.‬

Awarded as Asia’s Living Treasures at the National Commission for Arts and Culture NCCA feted master artisans. 2014.

Recognized by the Iranian government for excellence as an artist and given an award by the President of Iran, President Hassan Rohani, Lifetime Achievement Award, 2014

Awarded with an Honorary Doctorate by the Iranian Ministry of Art