The New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (colloquially known as The Met), one of the world’s most prominent museums, is set to hold a major exhibition dedicated to the history and culture of Armenia. The exhibition called “Armenia!” will be held from September 21, 2018, the Armenian Independence Day, to January 13, 2019. “Armenia!” will be covering the 4th-17th-century Armenian art with more than 140 pieces from all around the world.
“Armenia!” will be the first exhibition that is broadly presenting the Armenian art at The Met. During the exhibition will be showcased predominantly pieces from three museums of Armenia: Museum of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the History Museum, and the Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts also known as Matenadaran. Apart from that, the Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon, the Great House of Cilicia in Antelias, Lebanon, the Mekhitarist Fathers at San Lazzaro in Venice, the Brotherhood of St. James in Jerusalem, the Archdiocese in New York, the Manoogian Museum, and the Armenian Museum in America are also lending quite a bit of significant pieces of art.
“Armenia!” is to be curated by Helen C. Evans, the Mary and Michael Jaharis Curator of Byzantine Art at The Met. Dr. Evans told Mediamax that “Armenia!” will present the Armenian art as the visual voice of Armenians, the first Christian nation. The role of Armenia on international trade routes crossing the whole world will be viewed as well.
Overall, “Armenia!” will cover a time span of over 1,300 years, including the conversion of Armenians to Christianity, the creation of the Armenian alphabet by Mesrop Mashtots and its impact, and the first literary works written in the Armenian language.
“We would hope that all Armenians will find the exhibition a significant experience. For the first time, The Met will present exceptional works of Armenian art lent by major repositories of Armenian art and culture that will demonstrate the power and beauty of medieval Armenian heritage to the world,” said Dr. Evans.
Dr. Evans has planned an exhibition dedicated to the Armenian historical and cultural heritage ever since she had done her dissertation on the Armenian manuscripts of Cilicia and had started working at The Met. Over the years, each of the large exhibitions Dr. Evans has curated has featured examples of the Armenian heritage as important elements of the Eastern Christian world. In particular, Dr. Evans curated the 1997 “The Glory of Byzantium (843-1261)” and the 2004 “Byzantium: Faith and Power (1261-1557)” that demonstrated the importance of Armenia in the Eastern Christian community.
Dr. Evans also co-curated the “Treasures in Heaven: Armenian Illuminated Manuscripts” exhibition at the Morgan Library and Museum in 1994. Apart from that, Dr. Evans has taught courses on the Armenian art at the Columbia University, as well as published a large number of works on Armenian topics.
During one of the lectures, Dr. Evans noted that her involvement in the “Armenia!” exhibition is an honor to her. She also added that the exhibition is expected to make the Armenian culture more acknowledged and accepted in the scope of world arts.
by Amalie Khachatryan www.mediamax.am