Kutina (also Kotyaion) was a city in historical Western Armenia. Now, it is called Kütahya. To us, Armenians, this city is better known as the birthplace of great composer Komitas. The inhabitants of Kutina were engaged in ceramics and the manufacture of earthenware products. Armenians and Greeks have been working in the 34 artisan blocks of the city.
The products of local masters were used mainly in Armenian and Greek churches, as well as in some Ottoman mosques. Kutina’s faience products were available to everyone, but they would be truly appreciated only years later.
“In the last hall of our museum, oval pendants used in churches and mosques are shown. Crosses are depicted on these pendants, and all of them are quite peculiar. They bear the imprint of the Ottoman Empire, as well as the Persian and Chinese ornamental traditions,” said the head of the scientific and exposition department of the Komitas Museum Institute Nairi Khachatryan.
Kutina’s faience art has long been studied all over the world, especially in Europe. In Armenia, scientists only recently realized that similar research needs to be done by them in order to show that Armenians had also had a contribution to this art.
“We have never talked about this rich legacy. Most importantly, we need to set tasks and solve them. Today, a specific task has been set, and we have already received responses from different places. We have quite a few young researchers. We presented exhibits from one, specific period, but this art dates back to the early Middle Ages.
Next time, we should approach such exhibitions in a different context. Namely, we need to demonstrate that Armenian masters have been at the forefront of this art and actually haven’t adopted what had been known in Europe,” said Acting Minister of Culture Hasmik Poghosyan.
The exhibits were provided by the Sardarapat Museum and the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, as well as by two private collections. The aim of the exhibition is to promote the research and popularization of the centuries-old traditions of Kutina’s Armenian faience art. The exposition is going to be held from September 20 to December 20 every day except for Wednesday.