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 Etchmiadzin; 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.
The exhibition is made possible by The Hagop Kevorkian Fund.
Additional support is provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Armenian General Benevolent Union, The Giorgi Family 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 Michel David-Weill Fund, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fund, the Ruben Vardanyan and Veronika Zonabend Family Foundation, Joanne A. Peterson, The Tianaderrah Foundation, The Armenian Center at Columbia University, Elizabeth and Jean-Marie Eveillard, and Souren G. and Carol R. K. Ouzounian.