Silver Bible, Illustrated manuscript, 13th and 17th century, Made in present-day Turkey, Kayseri, Ink and tempera on parchment, silver, gilt, jewels, enamel, Gift of Mrs. Edward S. Harkness, 1916

Countdown to Landmark Armenian Exhibit at Metropolitan Museum of Art

230
0

NEW YORK — The “Armenia!” exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is set to open on September 22, 2018, and run through January 13, 2019. This major exhibition will feature rare works of Armenian art from around the world — many of them never before displayed in the United States.

A page from the illustrated Bible

This is the first major exhibition to explore the remarkable artistic and cultural achievements of the Armenian people in a global context over fourteen centuries — from the fourth century, when the Armenians converted to Christianity in their homeland at the base of Mount Ararat, to the seventeenth century, when Armenian control of global trade routes first brought books printed in Armenian into the region.

Through some 140 objects — including opulent gilded reliquaries, richly illuminated manuscripts, rare textiles, cross stones (khachkars), precious liturgical furnishings, church models, and printed books — the exhibition demonstrates how Armenians developed a unique Christian identity that linked their widespread communities over the years.

Representing the cultural heritage of Armenia, most of the works come from major Armenian collections: the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin; the Matenadaran (Ancient Manuscripts); the National History Museum in the Republic of Armenia; the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia in Lebanon; the Brotherhood of St. James in Jerusalem; and the Mekhitarist Congregation of San Lazzaro degli Armeni in Venice.

Almost all of these works are on view in the United States for the first time; some have not travelled abroad for centuries.

Among the precious items on display will be a magnificent altar covering from Holy Echmiadzin.

Get the Mirror in your inbox:

The Eastern Diocese has taken active roles in the exhibit, with Diocesan Primate the Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan contributing a scholarly essay to the exhibit catalogue. One of the exceptional items on display will be the 17th-century Voskan Bible that the Diocese’s Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center is lending to the Met for this special occasion.

The exhibition is made possible by The Hagop Kevorkian Fund.

Additional support is provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Michel David-Weill Fund, the Armenian General Benevolent Union, The Giorgi Family Foundation, The Hirair and Anna Hovnanian Foundation, the Karagheusian Foundation, The Nazar and Artemis Nazarian Family, the Ruddock Foundation for the Arts, The Strauch Kulhanjian Family and The Paros Foundation, Aso O. Tavitian, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The catalogue is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Tianaderrah Foundation, the Michel David-Weill Fund, the Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fund, the Ruben Vardanyan and Veronika Zonabend Family Foundation, Joanne A. Peterson, The Armenian Center at Columbia University, Elizabeth and Jean-Marie Eveillard, and Souren G. and Carol R. K. Ouzounian.

St. Vartan Cathedral will be the site of a special vespers service on November 27, which will be one of the official exhibit events planned in conjunction with the Met for the general public.

In the words of exhibit curator Dr. Helen Evans (the Met’s Mary and Michael Jaharis Curator of Byzantine Art) this will be “the first major exhibition to explore the remarkable artistic and cultural achievements of the Armenian people in a global context.” Visitors will view exquisite works covering 14 centuries of Armenian history: from the 4th century, when the Armenians converted to Christianity, to the 17th century, when Armenian control of global trade routes first brought books printed in Armenian into the region.

Met members can visit the museum for an early view on Friday, September, 21, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Get the Mirror-Spectator Weekly in your inbox: