By Alin K. Gregorian
WATERTOWN, Mass. — Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian is the Taisei Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and the winner of numerous awards and patents. He is also a dedicated son and art lover, who wants to shed light on the legacy of his late father, painter Sumbat Der Kiureghian.
His efforts have culminated in a beautiful coffee-table book, The Life and Art of Sumbat, filled with the paintings of his father, which often captured Iranian village life, as well as traditional Armenian life. The book was published in Armenia, where, incidentally, Der Kiureghian was the founding member of the Board of Trustees of the American University of Armenia.
The younger Der Kiureghian was at the Armenian Library and Museum of America (ALMA) on Wednesday, May 25, at a program jointly sponsored by the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR), where he discussed the genesis of his father’s art.
The artist, who is generally known by his first name, Sumbat, was born in New Julfa, the old Armenian quarter of Isfahan, Iran. Armen Der Kiureghian stressed that by writing the book, he was not claiming to be a historian or art historian, “but my credentials are my intimate knowledge of the artist.”