Helen Evans

Dr. Helen Evans Appointed Nikit and Eleanora Ordjanian Visiting Professor at Columbia for Fall Semester


NEW YORK — Dr. Helen Evans, the Mary and Michael Jaharis Curator for Byzantine Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has been appointed the Nikit and Eleanora Ordjanian Visiting Professor in the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies at Columbia University for the Fall of 2018. She will be teaching a course on Origins of Armenian Art: Creating An Identity which will be oriented around the Metropolitan Museum’s upcoming major exhibition “Armenia!”

The exhibition, which will feature more than 140 objects, most of which will be on view in the United States for the first time, was organized by Evans. It will open on September 22 and run through January 13, 2019, and will explore the arts and culture of the Armenians from their conversion to Christianity in the early 4th century through their leading role on international trade routes in the 17th century. The course will use the works in the exhibition to examine how a tradition of Armenian art came to be defined, its character and its connections to the arts of other cultures.

This seminar style course (MDES GU4347, Section 001, Call # 23800) will be taught on Fridays from 10:10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Metropolitan Museum and is open to auditors as well as matriculating students. Registration for auditors begins on August 25 and classes begin on September 5.

In addition to the course, Evans will be lecture at the Metropolitan Museum, as part of the MetSpeaks series, on October 18 at 6:30 pm, in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, on the expansion of Armenian art and culture from the 4th century near Mt. Ararat westward through the 17th century to the newly established towns, monasteries and kingdoms reaching the Mediterranean. Tickets for the lecture start at $30 and can be obtained by going online at www.metmuseum.org/tickets.

Evans received her PhD from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. She co-curated the previous blockbuster exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum, “The Glory of Byzantium,” and co-edited the accompanying book. In addition, she co-curated the Morgan Library’s exhibition, “Treasures In Heaven: Armenian Illuminated Manuscripts From American Collections.” She has taught, lectured and published widely on Armenian art and has been a previous Nikit and Eleanora Ordjanian Visiting Professor at Columbia University in 2000, 2007 and 2014.

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The Ordjanian Visiting Professorship program at Columbia is made possible by an endowment established by the late Dr. Nikit and Eleanora Ordjanian in 1988. Previous Ordjanian Visiting Professors have included Levon Abrahamian, Vardan Azatyan, Peter Balakian, Melissa Bilal, George Bournoutian, Seta Dadoyan, Roberta Ervine, Rachel Goshgarian, Arman Grigoryan, Robert Hewsen, Armen Marsoobian, Khatchig Mouradian, Ara Sarafian and Khachig Tololyan.

The Ordjanian Visiting Professorship is one of several programs of the Armenian Center at Columbia, the organization that raised the initial funds to establish a Chair of Armenian Studies at Columbia in 1979 and which continues to provide funds for scholarships, library acquisitions, academic publications, lectures, conferences and symposia.

There will be a full-day symposium in conjunction with the “Armenia!” exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum on November 3 which will begin at 10:30 a.m. The symposium will be free of charge and open to the public. More information about the symposium and reservation forms will be forthcoming and will be available on the Metropolitan Museum’s website at www.metmuseum.org.


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