History Museum of Armenia
|History Museum of Armenia|
|Հայաստանի պատմության թանգարան|
The History Museum and the National Gallery
|Collection size||Archaeological, Numismatic, Ethnographic|
The History Museum of Armenia is a museum in Armenia with departments of Archaeology, Numismatics, Ethnography, Modern History and Restoration. It has a national collection of 400,000 objects. Archaeology makes up 35% of the main collection, Ethnography 8%, Numismatics 45%, and Documents 12%. It is regarded as Armenia's national museum and is located on Republic Square in Yerevan. The state financially supports the museum and owns both the collection and the building. It carries out conservation and restoration work and publishes works on Armenian architecture, archaeology, ethnography, history, and a series of reports on archaeological excavations since 1948. The museum also carries out educational and scientific programs on Armenian history and culture.
On 9 September 1919 the National Assembly of Armenia founded the History Museum of Armenia. The museum opened to visitors on 20 August 1921. Its first director was Yervand Lalayan. Originally named the Ethnographic-Anthropological Museum-Library, it has been renamed several times - the State Central Museum of Armenia (1926), Historical Museum (1935), State History Museum of Armenia (1962), Cultural-Historical Museum (2000), and the History Museum of Armenia (since 2003). The History Museum of Armenia was formed using the collections of the Armenian Ethnographical Association of the Caucasus, the Nor Nakhijevan Museum of Armenian Antiquities, the Museum of Antiquities of Ani, and the Vagharshapat Repository of Ancient Manuscripts. The original collection numbered 15,289 objects.
In 1935, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Armenia established separate museums. These museums received items that originally were part of the History Museum of Armenia:
- The Museum of Art of the Armenian SSR was organized according to the History Museum’s Department of Art (the present-day National Gallery of Armenia); and received 1,660 objects.
- The Museum of Literature (the present-day Charents Museum of Literature and Art) was formed from the History Museum’s Department of Literature; and received 301 objects and 1,298 manuscripts.
In 1978 The State Museum of Ethnography was founded and received 1,428 objects and 584 photographs.
The History Museum of Armenia continually replenishes its collections with finds from current excavations made at ancient Armenian sites by the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography and the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia. Other objects are obtained through purchases and donations. The museum represents an integral picture of the history and culture of Armenia from prehistory to the present day. The museum also presents rare traces of cultural interrelations between ancient eastern countries in the Armenian Highlands. These ancient societies include: Egypt, Mitanni, the Hittite Kingdom, Assyria, Iran, the Seleucid Empire, the Roman Empire, and the Byzantine Empire.
- A large collection of 3rd to 2nd millennia BC bronze specimens.
- The historical-cultural heritage of Urartu consisting of cuneiform inscriptions, bronze statuettes, wall-paintings, painted ceramics, arms and weapons with sculptural ornamentation and specimens of gold, silver and bone, excavated from Karmir Blur, Arin-Berd and Argishtikhinili.
- The cuneiform inscription of 782 BC about the foundation of the city of Erebuni (Yerevan), by the Urartian king Argishti I.
- A collection of objects reflecting the history of transport: 15th-14th century BC wooden carts and chariots, excavated from Lchashen, and their miniature models in bronze.
- A collection of Miletian, Greek-Macedonian, Seleucid, Parthian, Roman, Sasanid, Byzantine, Arabic, Seljuk gold, silver and copper coins which have circulated in Armenia.
- A collection of Armenian coins, issued in Tsopk; Minor Hayk (3rd century BC – 150 BC); coins of the Armenian Artaxiad dynasty (189 BC – 6 AD); of the Kiurike kingdom (11th century); and Armenian kingdom of Cilicia (1080-1375).
- Finds from the archaeological sites of Garni, Artashat and Oshakan specific to the transformation of Hellenistic culture in Armenia
- Finds excavated from the cities of Dvin and Ani, and the fortress of Amberd reflecting 4th-5th-century Christian culture.
- Yervand Lalayan (1919-1927)
- Karo Ghafadaryan (1940-1964)
- Morus Hasratian (1964-1975)
- Telemak Khachatrian (1983-1987)
The History Museum of Armenia had exhibitions in Bochum 1995, the Bibliothèque nationale de France Paris 1996, Musee Dobree Nantes 1996, Lyon 1997, Cairo 1997, the Megaron Hall Athens 1998, Bonn, Halle-Wittenberg 1998, Peking 1998, the Vatican Library 1999, Paris 2000, the British Library London 2001, Rijksmuseum, Leiden, the Netherlands, 2001-2002 and Budapest (2002)
The museum participated in various international exhibitions including Budapest 1968, Paris 1970, Leningrad 1974, 1985, Spokane 1975, Los Angeles 1977, Tartu 1979, Kiev 1980, Tsukuba 1984, Venice 1987, the Pavillon des Arts Paris 1999, the Louvre Paris 2007, New York 2008 - 2009, Thessaloniki 2009, the Hermitage Museum St Petersburg 2009, Princeton University Art Museum 2010, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York 2014 - 2015.
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