|National Gallery of Armenia |
National Gallery of Armenia is situated in the center of Yerevan in the Republic Square. It has been located there since its foundation, in 1921. However, the first two-floor structure built in black tufa has been resurfaced with white stone, and in 1978 a new eight-floor section was opened. In its relatively short period of existence the Gallery has created a rich collection of Armenian, Russian, and West European works (over twenty thousand objects). Donatello, Tintoretto, Fragonard, Courbet, Rousseau, Serov, Kandinsky, Chagall, Aivazosky (Aivazian), Sarian, Yakulov, Carzou are some of the artists who have made the Gallery famous.
Armenia is often called an open museum under the blue sky. On its present territory and on its historical lands, and outside the Republic, there are vast numbers of monuments. This fact bears evidence of the Armenian people's creative spirit, belonging to a nation which under adverse political conditions throughout the last centuries was constrained to pursue its creativity outside the borders of its homeland.
In 1918 the united efforts of the nation against the plundering invaders established the right to existence of Armenia. Facing Mount Ararat, under the slopes of Aragatz, on a small strip of land, after an interval of six centuries of bondage, the new independent Republic was born. From all parts of the world, like bees returning to their hive, Armenian artists flocked into Armenia. Within a short period of time Yerevan had its own university and other educational institutes. A little later, during the soviet period, the National Theater, the Conservatory, the Opera, and the Museum were established.
The Gallery was established in 1921 as the artistic section of the State Museum. Its organization was entrusted to the artist Martiros Sarian, who had come from Rostov. The starting collection of the Gallery was the works of the Armenian artists' first exhibition, held in Yerevan. Shortly after, the collection of paintings held in the Lazarian College in Moscow was returned to Yerevan.
In 1925 the art historian, and an expert in museum craft, Rouben Drambian, was invited to Yerevan from Leningrad. During his curator ship of over 25 years, the image and character of the Gallery took shape. In 1935 the artistic section was transformed into the Museum of Art and in 1947 began to be called Armenia's State Gallery, and in 1991 was renamed National Gallery of Armenia. The Gallery's collection has periodically been augmented through purchases; in this respect an important role was played by R. Drambian's very sensitive judgment. In return for the Urartian artifacts, excavated in 1930 and presented to the Hermitage, the Gallery received a selection of important works. In regard to the collection, it is very important to mention our benefactors, whose names are listed in the beginning of the book. The National Gallery is today the most attractive center for every Armenian artist, in whichever country he may be residing. The active educational and scientific activities of the Gallery and its membership of several international galleries are highly appreciated.
We firmly hope that the joy of the visitors experienced in the Gallery's Web site will remain for a long period.