Cafesjian Museum of Art

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Cafesjian Center for the Arts, Yerevan

The Cafesjian Center for the Arts (Armenian: Գաֆեսճյան արվեստի կենտրոն (Gafesčyan arvesti kentron), also known as the Cafesjian Museum Foundation) is an art museum in Yerevan, Armenia. It is situated in central Yerevan in the area in and around the Cascade. At the core of the museum's permanent collection is the Gerard L. Cafesjian Collection of Art. The inauguration took place on 17 November 2009.


View from a garden terrace of the Cafesjian Museum of Art at the Cascade
Nighttime view of the Yerevan skyline

Construction began in the Spring of 2005 and was expected to be completed in Spring 2008.[1] The Museum was completed in the Fall of 2009.

The museum was inaugurated on November 7, 2009, in Yerevan. The opening ceremony was attended by the Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan, minister of culture Hasmik Poghosyan, minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan, as well as representatives of diplomatic missions in Armenia, various artists and political figures.[1]


View from the second level of the garden terrace

It is said that "the museum project represents one of the most ambitious works of contemporary architecture undertaken in any of the former republics of the Soviet Union."[citation needed] The New York Times described it as "a mad work of architectural megalomania and architectural recovery, (...) one of the strangest and most spectacular museum buildings to open in ages."[2]

The project was designed by the New York based architecture firm David Hotson Architects. The rest of the design team includes architect of record David Hotson Associates Architects, Yerevan; structural engineer Dewhurst Macfarlane and Partners, New York, NY; structural engineer of record ArmProject, Yerevan and services and environmental engineer Atelier Ten, New York and London, UK.


The museum is run by the Cafesjian Museum Foundation, which was established in April 2002 in Yerevan under the auspices of the Armenian government and the Cafesjian Museum Foundation of America. The Armenian government provided the Foundation with a half-constructed "Cascade" complex and the surrounding area. The Foundation invested over 35 million dollars to complete the reconstruction of the Cascade.


Fernando Botero, Mujer Fumando un Cigarrillo (Woman Smoking a Cigarette), 1987 bronze, dark brown patina.
Sculptor Work
Lynn Chadwick Sitting Figures, Stairs, Two watchers
Barry Flanagan Hare on Bell
Fernando Botero Cat, Roman warrior, Woman Smoking a Cigarette


  1. ^ "Cascade Capital Holdings: Cafesjian Family Foundation". Retrieved 2009-05-10. [dead link]
  2. ^ Kimmelman, Michael (November 18, 2009). "Armenians Greet Their New Extravaganza of a Museum". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-11-18. 

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Coordinates: 40°11′36.07″N 44°30′56.60″E / 40.1933528°N 44.5157222°E / 40.1933528; 44.5157222