Iranian Jewish Culure
Sima Amid
Prominent Artists

Sima Amid


Sima Amid was born in 1956 C.E., 1335 of the Persian Calendar, henceforth P.C., to a well‑endowed Jewish family of Tehran, alongside her twin sister Homa.

Her father was a well-known and trusted businessman. Also her grandfather Yahya “Yochanan” Zolof had been a successful merchant of the city of Hamedan. He had been also one of the first Jewish bankers of Iran in the 1880’s C.E., 1260’s P.C., coinciding with the reign of Mozaffareddin Shah, the King of Qajar. Remarkably, it’s said that the British government had once asked Yahya, this Iranian Jewish banker, to lend them a large sum in loan.

Sima Amid studied at the Ferdowsi Elementary, and later, at the Valiollah Nassr and Reza‑Shah the Great High Schools. She then went straight to the School of Fine Arts, University of Tehran. In 1974 C.E., 1353 P.C., she left for the United States to pass a short course in painting. Back at her homeland, fascinated by the “abstract art” in America, she decided to further pursue her education in an American university. To learn English, she enrolled herself n the College of Translation in Tehran, whence she graduated in 1977 C.E. with a Bachelor’s Degree in English Translation.

In 1978 C.E., Sima Amid was admitted to the College of Fine Arts, the Illinois State University, to pursue modern arts at this American institution; and she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in the field from the Illinois University at Macomb.


Sima Amid began her artistic activities at the tender age of 13, when she displayed her gifts by drawing on her classmates’ clothes!

Given her passion for painting, her parents arranged for her to study the classical art with Master Soufer-Zadeh to acquire a solid proper foundation. Later on, she also studied at the school of Master Petgar.

But the restless and sensitive soul of this modernist artist kept searching to create art in new and original ways. She avoided copying and imitation, and she preferred to create attractive majestic works inspired by the modern art styles. Thus, in 1973 C.E., 1352 P.C., at the age of 16, Sima Amid exhibited a collection of her work at the Japanese Arts Center, Tehran. Her success at this exhibition was a turning point in her career, and it allowed her work to stand next to those of the professional artists.

Six months later, she earned another success when in collaboration with the School of Fine Arts, University of Tehran, she displayed several of her works at another exhibition.

Starting in 1973 C.E., and within less than two years, thanks to her relentless efforts, Sima Amid had her new works displayed at six major exhibits, earning herself remarkable success as a young modernist artist. In the United States, having graduated in Modern Arts, she tried to demonstrate her artistic experience, which she had founded in the East, and which she wished to perfect in the West, by creating new works to be displayed in America. Besides the traditional painting, Sima has been painting on pottery and porcelain. She allows no boundaries to her art, and she aims to create something new with every design.

Among the grand masters, Sima Amid has loved the works of Leonardo da Vinci, though her own style has been inspired more by those of Picasso and Chagall.

In 1980 C.E., she reluctantly accepted to get married. The marriage dissolved after 15 years, when she divorced her husband. She had a difficult time accepting such failure, and the negative impact on her creative activity led her to stop painting for several years. However, invitations to artistic gatherings and attending numerous exhibits wouldn’t leave her much time to grieve and wear herself away in isolation. In 2001 C.E., she married for a second time. Following the wedding, she moved from Los Angeles to a wheat farm in Minnesota, which belonged to her husband’s family. Nowadays, she spends most of her time painting, sometimes up to 8 hours a day, surrounded by the glorious nature of the farmland, as she prepares new works for important seasonal art exhibits.

From 1990 to the end of 2009 C.E., within a period of 19 years, Sima Amid carried out an extended effort in modern art. During that period alone, the artist participated in more than 30 exhibits in the United States and Europe, thence earning her niche as a proud figure of the Iranian Jewish community worldwide.


Related Links: