“Armenia!” offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take in the extraordinary output of a storied culture and a proud people. The exhibition explores how medieval Armenians, situated at the crossroads of cultures and continents crossed by trading routes, commissioned and produced splendid works of art, both in their native land and in communities around the world.
Some 140 manuscripts, carvings, textiles, liturgical furnishings, and other beautiful objects illustrate the history of the Armenian people, from their early (4th century) conversion to Christianity, to their establishment of trading networks and communities throughout Europe and the Middle East. The exhibition ends at the height of Armenians’ influence, in the 17th century, when volumes printed in the Armenian language could be found throughout the region.
The exhibition brings together objects from repositories of Armenian heritage throughout the world, including the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the Brotherhood of St. James in Jerusalem, the Mekhitarist Congregation of San Lazzaro degli Armeni in Venice, the Alex and Marie Manoogian Museum in Michigan, and other generous lenders. Almost all of the artworks are on view in the United States for the first time.
Bringing the Armenian story into the 21st century, The Met Store has stocked a range of gifts featuring vibrant designs by California-based illustrator Arpi Krikorian. Krikorian creates a singular visual world that draws on her training as a children’s animator as well as her proud heritage. With oversize eyes, intricately drawn costumes, and evocative names, her whimsically drawn characters bring Armenian folk characters and traditions to life. Her designs appear on notecards, totes, and even espresso cups, all for sale at the exhibition store.
Other traditional handicrafts, made of ceramic and terra cotta, are also on offer—as are edible gifts, including dried apricots, quince jams, and more. Consider this the perfect store for anyone who wants to get a taste—literal and figurative—of Armenian culture.
Visit the Armenia! exhibition store in Gallery 199 at The Met Fifth Avenue through January 13, 2019. And find more art-inspired gifts at store.metmuseum.org.