1950s, Optimist Club of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; photo by Jules Schick Photography Optimists participate in the culmination of their yearly Santa Project, giving gifts to children in need, here with children disabled by polio. Courtesy of Velda Moog, whose father Aram K. Jerrehian stands in the middle.

Project SAVE’s 2021 Calendar Pays Tribute to Gatherings

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WATERTOWN — Project SAVE Armenian Photograph Archives has published Gatherings for 2021, its 34th photograph calendar, available now through its website.

Founder and President Ruth Thomasian looked through many photograph collections, knowing that the archives are all about social, “people” history, with folks doing many different things together. She made discoveries of meaningful, heartwarming photos of happy times that can help make our present situations a bit more joyful as we live in relative seclusion from extended family and friends.

You too will discover among these 25 photographs many ways of gathering that may resonate: wedding parties in both the homeland and diaspora; children literally “out on a limb;” healthcare workers with their patients; musicians and dancers making music and being merry; and service-oriented people doing their outreach.

Zouloumian wedding, 1892, Sourp (Saint) Stepanos section, upper Kharpert city. Historic Armenia, Ottoman Empire; photographer unknown. The whole community looks up at the photographer as they welcome the hars (bride), name unknown, from Constantinople, and pessa (groom) outside his Zouloumian home. The godfather stands at bride’s left.

Thomasian called photo donors who are still living, or their family members to verify and expand on documentation, and to get “the rest of the story.”

The photo captions extend the meaning of many photos as does the grouping of photos — an Aintabtzi picnic in Aleppo, with dinner for Antranig’s cavalry out in a Caucasian field, and a post WWII “guys drinking party” in Cambridge MA. Some images are serious, some seemingly frivolous, but all tell about people and their lives.

Gatherings Calendars can be ordered online to be shipped near and far www.projectsave.org/shop.

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