By Florence Avakian
NEW YORK — “Armenian art is not something isolated. It is woven into a global network, and needs to be understood for what makes it specifically Armenian,” declared Dr. Helen Evans, to an enthusiastic crowd of close to 100 on Thursday, June 7, at the Armenian Diocesan Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center. “It is also part of the world’s art of global significance.”
The “Armenia!” exhibition will open on September 22, the 27th anniversary of Armenia’s independence, and run through January 13, 2019, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. It has been organized by Dr. Helen C. Evans, the Mary and Michael Jaharis Curator for Byzantine Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and acclaimed scholar of Armenian art.
The Very Rev. Daniel Findikyan, newly elected Primate of the Armenian Diocese(eastern), and longtime Director of the Zohrab Information Center, introduced Evans, and pointed out that the scholar had previously co-curated the Morgan Library and Museum’s 1994 exhibition, Treasures in Heaven: Armenian Illuminated Manuscripts. As the Nikit and Eleanora Ordjanian Visiting Professor of Armenian Studies, he said, Evans has taught art courses at Columbia University, and has published numerous articles on Armenian subjects.
She has been especially instrumental in displaying major works of Armenian art at the Metropolitan, including treasures on permanent view in the medieval galleries. She was also responsible for bringing to the Metropolitan the huge 1,000-pound 12th-century khachkar (cross stone) from the Lori province for which she traveled to Armenia with Metropolitan Museum Conservator Jack Soultanian, on one of her many trips there. It remains on renewed loan at the Metropolitan.