BELMONT, Mass. — On September, 20, 2021, Prof. Lucy Der Manuelian passed away at her home.
Dr. Der Manuelian (fondly referred to by many as “Lucy”) was the founder and first occupant of the Arthur H. Dadian and Ara T. Oztemel Chair of Armenian Art in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at Tufts University.
The Tufts chair is the first and only endowed professorship of Armenian art outside the Republic of Armenia. It was launched in 1984 as a rotating lectureship at Tufts in conjunction with Harvard, McGill, Boston University and Northeastern University, so that courses in Armenian art could be taught at each institution in succession. In 1989, the lectureship became an endowed position with a permanent home at Tufts. This is due entirely to Lucy’s energies, and the financial support of New Deal attorney Arthur H. Dadian and import/export magnate Ara T. Oztemel, the latter known for bringing Coca-Cola to the Soviet Union.
Der Manuelian retired in 2006.
Lucy was educated at Harvard (Radcliffe), and, after a 20-year hiatus from academia in which she raised two children, received her PhD at Boston University in 1980. Her dissertation was supported by a fellowship at the Bunting (now the Harvard-Radcliffe) Institute (1971-1973), and an IREX (International Research and Exchange Board) grant in 1977 for travel to the Soviet Union.
The project, supervised by noted scholar of Islamic art, Oleg Grabar, concerned the medieval sculptural program of Geghard, and was the first serious English-language monograph on that site.