Amanolah Tarighi was born in 1923 in Isfahan's Ahmadabad district. His father – Agha Mola-Taghi – had a shop in the textile bazaar and would rent his property to artists who painted on handkerchiefs. His mother was Khojasteh Khanoom the daughter of Lotfolah Khan Sadri a well-known calligrapher during the reign of Zelossoltan, the son of Nasseredin Shah in Isfahan. Tarighi was born during a period of critical transition in the history of Iran and significant changes in the sociopolitical pretext of the country. Only a few years before his birth, Brigadier Reza Khan, one of the commanders of the armed forces, obliged Ahmad Shah Qajar to form a new government and assumed the title of Commander-in-Chief and subsequently became the Minister of War too. In 1923, he was appointed as the head of the government and succeeded in establishing security through suppressing bandits and nomads thereby paving the grounds for the reforms he had in mind.
The little Tarighi was thus born and grew up at a time pregnant with change. He was two years old when Ahmad Shah was denounced from the throne with the Qajar Dynasty becoming extinct; the parliament passed an amendment to the constitution thereby allowing General Reza Khan or Sardar Sepah as he was called in Farsi to become the monarch. As the era during which Reza Shah sought the goal of transforming Iran from a traditional society to a modern country commenced, Tarighi went to Hekmat Primary School in Isfahan's Ahmadabad. His enthusiasm for painting became manifest to his family and school from his childhood thanks to his beautiful illustrations both colorful and simple. He was only 10 when he lost his father; Amanolah and his brother and sister were raised by their mother under circumstances not as comfortable as previous times. His passion for learning the principles of painting and becoming familiar with the world of art took him to Isfahan's High School of Fine Arts. Established in Isfahan as a result of Reza Shah's civilization reforms and promotion of modern schools and administered under the auspices of the State Bureau of Fine Arts, the school was among the prominent art centers of the country in the fields of watercolor painting, miniature, tiling, etching, embroidery, marquetry, woodcarvings, and carpet weaving. The principal of the school was Issa Bahadori, a well-known painter in Isfahan.
Tarighi was trained by Bahadori and Noormohammad Khan Moayeri who was a graduate of the Paris School of Fine Arts (Ecole des Beaux Arts) and became acquainted with the preliminary principles of designing and painting. Because of his talent and perseverance, he won himself a position among the prominent students of the school very soon. The young Amanolah studied meticulously and scrutinously the works of great painters and admired Reza Abbassi and Behzad.
As he was approaching graduation from Isfahan's High School of Fine Arts, a simple episode, however, changed the course of his life and gave his future professional and artistic career another orientation. During one of his last days at high school, a thin man with a slim face and calm and penetrative eyes entered the class with the teacher. He was Gholamhossein Derakhshan – a well- known photographer in Isfahan – who intended to select a talented student of painting, provide him the necessary training, and have him assist him in retouching and coloring photographs. Derakhshan quickly spotted Tarighi's competence in painting and also his precision and delicacy in etching. The photographer chose him and the arrangement was made for Tarighi to go to Derakhshan's studio everyday after school hours to become familiar with the two aforementioned processes in photography which were commonplace techniques in those days.
Acquiring the technique of retouching and working under Derakhshan's supervision unfurled a new horizon of the mysterious world of photography before Tarighi. During the days, he participated in his classes at high school and spent his afternoons – and sometimes evenings, if need be – retouching photos in Derakhshan's studio. There were actually instances when he slept at the studio following long hours of working. He became gradually acquainted with the procedure and mechanism of effecting delicate brushing on photos and also paid attention to Derakhshan's photography curiously and attentively.Acquiring the technique of retouching and working under Derakhshan's supervision unfurled a new horizon of the mysterious world of photography before Tarighi. During the days, he participated in his classes at high school and spent his afternoons – and sometimes evenings, if need be – retouching photos in Derakhshan's studio. There were actually instances when he slept at the studio following long hours of working. He became gradually acquainted with the procedure and mechanism of effecting delicate brushing on photos and also paid attention to Derakhshan's photography curiously and attentively.
Derakhshan's studio was originally on Haj Mirza Lane close to Hafez Avenue but the photographer moved to the second floor of a building on the same avenue adjacent to Boloorian Caravansarai and due to the area's proximity with the large and crowded Naghsheh Jahaan Square, the already renowned Derakhshan attracted even more customers. In addition, he himself had an artistic taste and, therefore, a sizeable number of the city's forerunners of art and literature comprised the circle of his friends and acquaintances. Among them were great figures such as the famous poet Saghir, the euphonic singer Taj, and celebrated photographers including Mirza Mehdi Khan Chehrenama and Abolghassem Jala who frequented Derakhshan's studio.
Chehrenama was a pioneer of photography in Isfahan whose fame relied upon his incomparable mastery over retouching. The photographer was also highly recognized for the brushing technique which went back to his teaching in paintings. Indeed, Chehrenama was so widely acclaimed that photographers from other cities would ask him to retouch and print their orders of large photos. Tarighi's acquaintance with Chehrenama as an artist who had shifted from painting to photography and had actually prospered remarkably as an outcome and also listening to his commentaries regarding his retouches hammered indisputably a significant impact on Tarighi's future professional character. Furthermore, a sincere relationship initiated between the two of them which remained there until Chehrenama's demise.
His meeting with Abolghassem Jala, another renowned photographer from Isfahan, facilitated Tarighi's development. In spite of being younger than Derakhshan and Chehrenama and thus less experienced in photography, he had succeeded to bring into the attention of the public his Shargh Photography Studio through his artistic taste, discipline, and hard work. Since Jala's precision and meticulousness in photography was noteworthy and many customers referred to him, he asked Tarighi upon seeing his delicate brushings to come to his studio during his school lunch hour in order to do retouching. Although this part-time assignment was both short-lived and took away his only resting time, seeing firsthand what Jala did was indeed well worth the experience for Tarighi.
Tarighi graduated from the Isfahan High School of Fine Arts in 1941 with an excellent GPA. The outcome of years of work and practice at the school comprised a noteworthy number of oil on canvas works of his hometown's historical monuments and natural landscapes and also portrait paintings which were praised repeatedly by his teachers. Years later, Bahadori stated that, “I raised and dedicated four children to Iran's art sphere: Mahmood Farshchian, Amanolah Tarighi, Javad Rostam-Shirazi, and Abbas Poorsafa".
Tarighi's adroitness in painting, on the one hand, and the blooming of his new artistic passion towards photography together with his satisfactory progress in retouching, on the other, drove him towards new occupational decision-makings. Turmoil and crisis were imminent, however. With the outbreak of World War 2 in August 1939, Reza Shah abdicated, handed the throne to his son Mohammad-Reza Pahlavi, and left Iran.
In Isfahan – which was no exception to other cities – food shortage was more than visible. Bakeries did not have adequate flour to produce the amount of bread needed by the people; other necessary commodities and health and hygienic facilities were rarities.
The unfavorable circumstances affected the lives of the young Amanolah and his family. Consequently, he resorted to new experiences in order to assist his mother in running the family livelihood. Unquestionably, the outbreak of the war and the dire economic conditions that followed had far from any pleasant impact on the photography industry thereby decreasing the number of the customers. Tarighi was thus forced to leave Derakhshan's studio but managed to find a job with Leon Abkarian, an Armenian photographer, whose studio was located opposite Chaharbagh School on Chaharbagh Avenue, an area in the heart of the downtown where there was still more trade happening. Leon was a calm and congenial person who was ultimately tasteful in portrait photography and lighting; working alongside him was a novel and invaluable experience for the young Tarighi who was most eager to pick up the techniques of the art and industry.
Retouching did not, however, leave much time for learning. Indeed, if one were after becoming a photographer, s/he should attain sufficient mastery over photography and developing and printing in the darkroom in addition to working on retouching. An unplanned meeting allowed Tarighi to set out for this unprecedented and unknown journey of learning outside his hometown.
Mirza Mehdi Chehrenegar, a photographer from Isfahan who had moved to the southwestern provincial capital city of Ahwaz for work, got to know Tarighi merely by chance during one of his trips to his hometown. Upon observing Tarighi at work on a number of occasions, Chehrenegar commended the young man for his precision and perseverance thus encouraging him to continue his work. At the same time, he suggested that Tarighi go to Ahwaz and start working with him. The economic and political developments of the early 20th century in Iran had transformed the Province of Khoozestan into a strategically significant area with Ahwaz enjoying the potential of turning into a new trade hub.
Having acquired a noticeable degree of skill in retouching and being highly enthusiastic to learn more about photography, Tarighi accepted Chehrenegar's proposal. In the course of negotiating with Tarighi and his family which spanned a few sessions, Chehrenegar committed to pay Tarighi a monthly salary in addition to covering his food and lodging expenses so that he would have a saving at the end as well. Tarighi prepared himself for the trip and headed to Ahwaz. World War 2 and the presence of the allied forces in Ahwaz had changed the overall image of the city. Alongside retouching and coloring black and white photographs, Tarighi did photography and printing in the studio too. He became quite a photographer himself after one year of work and returned to Isfahan with the wages he received at the end of his working term. The money he had gathered following years of hard work and learning from notable photographers enabled him to set up a small studio of his own in 1945: Hollywood Studio next to Iran Cinema on Chaharbagh Avenue. His painting background and correct understanding of visual principles and also command of retouching and lighting endowed his work a distinct feature from the works of the city's other photographers.
The trend of the political events of the country in the preceding two decades had culminated in significant social changes. Isfahan was of course undergoing such changes and reforms just like other cities. New industries and factories and large textile and weaving plants, in particular, were founded in the city. State bureaus and art and cultural centers were expanded. With the transformations in the traditional method of education and the encouragement of modern universal education, the University of Isfahan and other modern schools were established. The formation of literary societies and the publication of journals and periodicals also underwent a massive increase. Several cinemas were set up in Isfahan and theater companies were more active too.
Photography was also experiencing a period of growth and development at the same time. The number of people referring to studios for their photographs to be taken either individually or alongside their families and friends was on the rise.
The aforementioned circumstances paved the grounds for a talented photographer such as Tarighi to work harder and turn his Hollywood Studio despite its smallness of size into a busy workplace. Women wearing the latest European fashion with a-la-mode hairstyles and men with shaven faces and Clark Gable-like moustaches and also carefully combed hair with special oils ad paraffin sporting the latest fashion of coats, trousers, and ties would go to Tarighi's studio to have their portraits taken.
Furthermore, Tarighi was interested in art and literature who kept up-to-date through reading; accordingly, he enjoyed the company of many friends who were mostly artists and would regularly rendezvous at the studio and also have a photo taken. One such friend was Hassan Kassayi, the well-known musician and player of the traditional Iranian instruments nay and setar. On Tarighi's mastery of photography and retouching, Kassayi recounts, “As his old friend and companion, I have many sweet and unforgettable memories from this great man and I have one of his artistic photos at home which depicts me in my youth alongside the great maestro Saba. At the time, Saba used to wear a beard but the printed photograph had no traces of a beard which demonstrates how skillfully Tarighi had removed Saba's beard in the photograph! He managed to achieve such success at a time when there were only very rudimentary tools in photography suitable. Today of course computers and advanced technology and apparatuses have replaced the highly observant eyes, brush, magnifying glass, and a few simple means of the great photographers of the past".
Tarighi's acquaintance with another famous artist Abdolhossein Sepanta who was a filmmaker, writer, poet, and the publisher of Sepanta Daily bore a significant impact on Tarighi's artistic life and years of close friendship with this noble person laid a huge effect on his constantly-seeking soul. Having witnessed in his childhood the struggles of those who fought for freedom with the despots during the Constitutional Revolution and also certain other major events and developments of the era, Sepanta had an extreme passion for literature and poetry and the works of nationalistic and revolutionary poets in particular. He had traveled to India on numerous occasions and met with the prominent Zoroastrian figures of Bombay and Karachi such as Dinshah Irani and also India's well-known poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore. In 1932, he collaborated with Ardeshir Irani, the director of Imperial Cinematography Company in Bombay, in the production of the first Iranian talking movie Dokhtareh Lor (Lori Girl) and four other such films. Later in 1943, he published the first copy of Sepanta Daily in Isfahan, an independent newspaper not affiliated with any party or fraction which focused on covering social, literary, and artistic news and drew the attention of readers. Sepanta reacted to the social events of his surrounding and at times expressed his hardline stance openly and bravely. In 1946, he protested most vigorously to the way the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company was handling business and published both serious and satirical poems and articles against the operations of the company and its staff; this of course was an entirely unprecedented move. In addition, he was a loyal and righteous person whose poetry was overwhelmed by emotions and wisdom. His transparency of tone was most admirable and nothing could quench Tarighi's restless and curious soul any more. He cherished Sepanta's friendship and companionship. Sepanta in turn whose valuable spiritual experiences in India made him realize that genuine friendships and values are lacking in Isfahan was pleased to spend time with Tarighi.
Undeniably, Sepanta's strong and open character and powerful writing had an immense effect on Tarighi driving him away from apathy and indifference towards his surrounding. One clear example was an article published in Sepanta Daily critiquing the triviality governing the artistic climate of the capital under the title of Maniyeh Honar va Honarmand dar Tehran (The Meaning of Art and Artist in Tehran): “Art in Tehran is limited to being either a singer or star in a cheap locally produced film and then an entire copy of a magazine would be allocated to publishing a reportage on the personal life of that fake artist covering how they sit down, get up, sleep, interact, etc. with a pretty color portrait of this celebrity on the cover of the magazine. I have no idea whether these periodicals consider art as being restricted to singing and acting only or that their artistic information is not conceivable for their writers since there are artists in this country who are among our national heritage. You come across the description and various photographs of incompetent actors celebrating a bonfire in the most widely circulated magazines of the country; nevertheless, you see no trace of Reza Abbassi or such artists in any magazines. With this doctrine adopted by the press, not only would those active in other fields of art feel discouraged but also cheap and valueless arts would be glorified for the general public".
Around a year after working hard and consistently at his Hollywood Studio, Tarighi was able to raise enough income to run an independent life. Hence, he purchased the Hyropettian Music Store next door to enlarge his studio. In 1946 and at the age of 22, he decided to marry Khadijeh Rashti who was only 12 at the time. Together they had six children named Shahla, Daryoosh, Mitra, Koorosh, Siavash, and Ardeshir. His kind and altruistic wife who was already overloaded with the house chores and raising the children dedicated her life to securing a calm environment for Tarighi where he could prosper in his work and art. She admired him lovingly until his last day.
Although the main corollary of World War 2 was massive destruction, poverty, and disease, there was hope for a new beginning. The rise in population, economic betterment, and quality enhancement of the raw materials and equipment of photography extended the demand market, the outcome of which was the need for precise coordination among the price of raw materials, wages, and ultimately the end price of the photograph for the customers. As establishing this coordination would be a farfetched endeavor in the absence of an orderly syndicate, a number of photographers in Isfahan gathered for the first time in June 1946 at Mirza Mehdi Chehrenegar's home and made decisions regarding working regulations and unifying the fees. Together with a group of younger photographers, Tarighi participated in these sessions alongside his seniors; indeed, Amanolah delivered an eloquent speech on the very first session where he noted, “We are surrounded by images from which we cannot escape. We are not to be identified without our images in social life and would thus lack identity."
The weekly gatherings of the members of this association were held on Fridays in either one of the photographer's homes or a corner of nature during which they would discuss their problems and consult each other to seek a solution. In addition, they set the basis of the rules and regulations which later on served as the foundation of the directives for Isfahan's Trade Union of Photographers.
As the years went by, Tarighi was able to establish his image as a professional photographer while he still held a reputation as a painter. His acquaintance and friendship with a vast array of the artists and writers of his time enabled him to get to know other fields of art too.
Towards the mid-20th century, certain unjustified prejudices were on the decline and, as a result, the activities of theater companies following the Western style and mannerism and being inspired by the tradition of comic drama for the general public gradually increased and professional theater evolved in Isfahan. Another genre of drama which was inspired by adaptations of Western plays was satire or critical comedy. Actors who were mostly untrained and relied on their wit and jocularity gave humorous and at times critical comments while performing on stage. Artists such as Mohammad Mirza Rafiyi, Nasser Farahmand, Mehdi Momayezan, Reza Arham Sadr, Nosratolah Vahdat, Kelara, and Alimohammad Rajayi and his three daughters were the stars of Isfahan's theaters. The plays followed the Western style and the modern décor of the stage constituted one of the fundaments of these plays. The quality of a fine theater and its success depended on both the script and performance of the actors, on the one side, and novel and attractive décors and different costumes, on the other. Under the art directorship of Nasser Farahmand, Sepahan Theater was one of Isfahan's active and prosperous houses which had a new play on stage every week. Due to the disagreement between Farahmand and the proprietor of the house, there was a split in the company with one group joining Farahmand in establishing the Isfahan Theater in 1947. Actors such as Dr Dokhani, Mehdi Momayezan, Dr Haydaran, Kahnamooyi and his wife Kelara, and Nahid Paran were renowned figures who guaranteed the success of this house. Indisputably, however, the Isfahan Theater was doomed to failure without the collaboration of a skilful painter who held a new vision regarding paintings on canvas and producing décors. Tarighi was among the few artists who enjoyed all these traits; Farahmand who was engaged round-the-clock with directing an adaptation of Binavayan (Les Miserables) at Sadi Theater asked for Tarighi's help in painting the décors which were built by Group, Saneyi, and Bahraini Décor Makers. Tarighi produced a very fine job and was lauded for his work.
Later on, Arham Sadr had stated that, “Nasser Farahmand – the director of Isfahan Theater – had problems with the production of the décors of his credible plays and thus asked Tarighi for his hand. In response, the great Tarighi accepted and built the décor for Victor Hugo's Les Miserables thereby demonstrating his artistic ability. Everyone was bewildered over how a competent photographer who had depicted Isfahan's historical monuments on oil on canvas could actually produce and display theater décor, which is among the most difficult styles of painting".
Tarighi also photographed the actors while rehearsing and performing and put on display the photos in the window of the theater which boosted sales at the box office. Accordingly, Tarighi can be reckoned as one of the first theater photographers of the city. Tarighi's connection and collaboration with the Isfahan Theater stretched for years as he painted the décors for and photographed a number of significant plays such as Otelo (Othello), Takhtejamshid dar Atash (Persepolis on Fire), and Haj Abdolghafar (Haj Abdolghafar).
In 1948, the Shah saw Takhtejamshid dar Atash during his trip to Isfahan and was highly impressed by the décor of this play. Isfahan Daily wrote in its 501st copy that, “…The curtain went up and the Apadani Hall of Persepolis became visible on stage. The décor of this scene had been produced so excellently that the Shah inquired about the name and qualifications of Amanolah Tarighi, the décor producer, in the middle of the play". Once the play ended, he ordered that the director of the house commend Tarighi. In addition to a silver trophy given to Tarighi, he received a raise.
Contrary to Isfahan's drama scene and theaters which took a downward and decadent trend in the 1950s following the deterioration of Sepahan and Isfahan Theaters, photography was on the rise significantly and so Tarighi was mostly busy in this industry. His skill in fine brushing, knowledge of chemicals, and producing compounds for developing photographs increased the value of his work with the beauty of the final products startling everyone's eyes. His studio portraits through applying innovative poses and lighting registered the images of people from the middle and upper classes of society. Dignitaries, painters, musicians, poets, writers, actors, university graduates, judges, attorneys, military personnel, industrialists, entrepreneurs, athletes, and other social figures, and even residents of other cities referred to him for their photos to be taken. In addition, he took many photos of syndicates, school students, textile and weaving factories, and events such as inaugurations and official visits. Furthermore, in the process of the photography of Isfahan's historical monuments and places, his peak of collaboration was illustrating a book on the historical heritage of Isfahan with Lotfolah Honarfar.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, he was also a journalist for Etelaat Daily, the representative of Hungary's Ferania photography products in Isfahan, the director of Isfahan's Society of Visual Arts, head of the Isfahan Photography Workshop of Historical Monuments run by the Ministry of Culture and Art, a photographer for the Cooperative and Publications Branch of Isfahan's Ninth Corps, and also a member of the Isfahan Art Committee. He was recognized on numerous occasions because of his hard work in holding painting and photography exposés. One such example was in 1954 in an event displaying Isfahan's industries and commemorating Avicenna's millennial anniversary which drew the attention of orientalists and both foreign and local representatives; the State Bureau of Fine Arts recognized him for his contribution to this event.
The last existing document about the unofficial sessions of the Photographers Association in which Tarighi participated goes back to 1950 with no information on any subsequent sessions. With the increase in the number of photography studios in Isfahan, photographers were once again prompted to establish a coherent syndicate organization and, hence, the Photographers Trade Union was registered on April 15, 1970. Tarighi was elected as a member of the board.
While establishing the Photographers Trade Union was considered as a major step in stabilizing the realm of photographers' activities and their fees and also adopting a set of rules and regulations to facilitate their work, the need for the qualitative enhancement of photographers' work during the technological advancement of photography around the globe was very much felt. Tarighi who was ahead of his peers in the trade became also a forerunner in terms of understanding the state-of-the-art scientific principles and means. He studied photography textbooks and magazines and became familiar with the most recent products of the trade; in the graduation of time, he acquired complete mastery over understanding the structure of a camera and lenses, their functionality, and production of chemical compounds for the development of photographs. In 1975, Tarighi decided to hold photography courses to help his colleagues through sharing his knowledge and information with them. Obtaining a license from the Provincial Directorate of Culture and Art to hold these classes was no easy task of course. Eventually, once the necessary preliminaries for this course were in place, he prepared a list of Isfahan's photographers and invited them to take part in the training course. A total of 22 licensed photographers came to him with alacrity and registered in the course. He once described the procedure of these classes in an interview by stating that, “Those days as I was busy in my studio all the time, I would spend the nights till almost morning on my own but with passion preparing pamphlets on the structure of a camera, its working mechanism, and the stages of producing chemical compounds. As I assumed all the participants would be professional photographers, I had arranged the content in a technical manner and not suitable for novice photographers. On the first day of the course, some colleagues did not think that I could teach them any new ideas on photography. There were also those who maintained that the profession of photography is one that could be learned only through practice. Nevertheless, they demonstrated their enthusiasm and satisfaction with the continuity of the course through their timely and regular presence in class.
All the participants passed the course with a high score and received an official certificate from Isfahan's Directorate of Culture and Art in an event in the city's Alighapoo Hotel in the presence of scholars such as Issa Bahadori.
This significant success was indeed Tarighi's manner of expressing his gratitude to his great teachers who were then in their elderly years and thus falling out of the arena of competition as new and fashionable studios were emerging. Mirza Mehdi Khan Chehrenama – the unrivaled master of retouching in his day – came to Tarighi's home every Friday, sat in a corner on the ground, and took care of the retouches on the negatives of the prolific Hollywood Studio. The portrait of Chehrenama done by Tarighi on one of these Fridays reveals his gratitude towards the generation of masters and veterans who would leave this transient world one by one.
The 1979 Revolution saw the ousting of Mohammad-Reza Pahlavi and the governance of new principles and rules which culminated in extreme social changes. Following the Revolution, observing the hijab in public places became mandatory for women, universities were closed due to the Cultural Revolution, and theaters and cinemas were closed with some of them burned to ashes. As a historical era came to an end, Amanolah Tarighi also said farewell to photography following 30 years of work in this domain. His Hollywood Studio on Chaharbagh Avenue was demolished by the City Hall as the latter planned urban expansions in the locale. He later bought Ferdosi Gallery on Ferdosi Avenue and went back to painting once again. This return marked a new chapter in Tarighi's book of life as he did not surrender to the atmosphere governing the society and the recession of art and resumed his artistic life. His choosing isolation in his painting workshop, meeting with a number of old and loyal friends, and spending hours everyday mixing colors with canvas were his only pastime during the day thanks to which he produced a considerable number of noteworthy paintings. In addition, he taught painting most meticulously and conscientiously to young and talented students. After years of photography, his dexterity and command over painting had grown and his keen eyes which had experienced the domain of realism in photography had achieved a more profound understanding of images through studying lights and silhouettes more carefully. At times, he would use a photo of a landscape or portrait of a person as the basis and model for his paintings.
Sayareh Shahrezayi aka Ashofteh – a renowned poet and one of Tarighi's old friends – admired his skillful brushes and invaluable works through the following verses:
Fluctuation is an alien concept to your fingers
As your hand glides the brush eurhythmically
Hails and bravos galore have been offered
To thee and thy miracle engendering hand
Inexplicably invaluable are the compositions
A pot of gold is each single one of thy works
Since some of Tarighi's children were residents of the United States, he traveled there frequently with his wife to visit them. In one of his trips in 1985, his friends and acquaintances set up an exhibition of his works in Texas.
Nevertheless, Tarighi's passion for photography remained very much with him until his last day. One of his students Asghar Haji-Alizadeh states, “One day while I was at his gallery, the master suddenly said that he wished to go to the darkroom. Considering the fact that he did not do much photography and spent most of his time painting, I asked the reason. He responded with a sentence that I vividly remember even now and that sentence shall remain with me forever. He said: Asghar, I love photography!"
The product of years of Tarighi's photography was over 86,000 negatives. To quote his own words, “I produced as many negatives as the stands of hair on your head".
Despite the fact that he had walked away from photography, his altruism and sense of cooperativeness encouraged him to provide certain services to the trade and share his experience as a veteran in the field with other photographers. One example was his active role in the founding of Isfahan's Cooperative of Photographers and also the Isfahan Rangin Aks Company.
In 1995, an exhibition of his paintings was held in the House of Artists and the Isfahan Museum of Contemporary Arts by the Department of Islamic Propagation Art Center and his works gained a warm reception by the public.
Around half a century of work and endeavor had weakened his body turning him extremely ill in his last years. He underwent surgery in the United States but his stamina gradually decreased and became totally paralyzed due to diabetes.
In 2000, a wheelchair-bound Tarighi participated in a tribute held in his honor by the Isfahan Department of Islamic Guidance and Culture and the Department of Islamic Propagation Art Center and received a tablet of recognition from the then Minister of Islamic Guidance and Culture.
Amanolah Tarighi finally departed on September 13, 2001; a chapter of Isfahan's photography was closed with his demise as the last link between a generation of pioneer photographers and the new generation left this mortal world: a luminous star who shone in the horizon of Isfahan's art and an alchemist who conjoined color and light thereby producing a unique elixir thus leaving behind a one-of-a-kind heritage of thousands of gelatin-silver photographs and paintings. A dexterous painter and also a generous human being in the words of both the artists and veteran citizens of Isfahan, Tarighi stood out as being incomparable in his day.