Article from TourInfo Magazine
International Day of Museums
The International Museum Day is a celebration that is held on May 18. On that day all the museums are open to welcome visitors and present new exhibitions and programs. The idea of this festival belongs to the French Ministry of Culture and Communication. The festival was formerly known as “the museum night” and was held on May 14 when for the whole night museums opened their doors to welcome people. In 1977 the International Council of Museums (ICOM) held a conference in Moscow and May 18 was announced as the International Day of Museums (IDM), and since then the number of countries celebrating the festival began to increase year after year. Armenia began to celebrate this cultural festival in 2005. Armenia as a country of rich cultural heritage and history always has something new to say to its visitors.
Visiting any museum of Armenia every time you explore a new world, a life of an Armenian genius, the characteristic features of a branch of Armenian culture and traditions and so on. So, you can visit museums of Armenia where experienced guides will represent all the exhibits of Armenian and world art and their history. IDM is a wonderful chance for the visitors to take part in numerous cultural and public events: exhibitions, literary performances, film screenings, concert-shows, etc. On the threshold of the 35th festival the History Museum of Yerevan realizes a program that enables to collect all the photos taken by the museums during the festivals of 2005-2011 which and to present to the public by a beautiful slide-show on festival day.
Estimating the role of museums in our cultural and social life we should by all means participate in the celebrations of IDM. So, welcome to the museums of Armenia, a country which is worthily called “the open-air museum”. You can began your excursion to museums of Yerevan from Mashtots Avenue at the top of which proudly stands the Matenadaran, the research institute of ancient manuscripts, which is the eternal repository not only for Armenian books but also the world ancient and medieval manuscripts.
The next distinguished museum situated on Mashtots Avenue is the Museum of Yervand Kochar, prominent Armenian sculptor (39/12 Mashtots Ave.). The museum is based on the works from the sculptor’s studio. Continue to walk along the avenue and you will reach the House-Museum of poet Yeghishe Charents (17 Mashtots Ave.).
The staircase leads to the flat of the prominent poet on the second floor. Every corner of poet’s flat introduces his life and works; in the museum there is a permanent exhibition entitled “Charents in Fine Arts”. The next one is the Modern Art Museum (7 Mashtots Ave.) which gives a unique opportunity to visitors to see the contemporary Armenian authors’ works of fine arts. You can continue your excursion to the Republic Square to visit the National Gallery of Armenia. It will take you several hours to get acquainted with the extensive collection of one of the world’s richest museums that presents the masterpieces of Armenian, Russian, European art.
Its collection includes seldom samples of mural painting which were transferred from the monasteries of Tatev and Haghpat. Next to the National Gallery is the History Museum of Armenia.
More than 5000 exhibits out of 400000 are displayed on permanent exhibition. A cozy street leads from the Republic Square to the two important institute-museums: the National Institute of Architecture after architect Al. Tamanyan (Government Building 3) and the Literature and Arts Museum after Y. Charents (1 Aram Str.), which holds manuscripts related to literature, language, history, philosophy, theatre, music and cinema. Nearby there is another interesting museum – the MiddleEastMuseum (1 Aram Str.) that holds the works of Russian, European and Middle Eastern arts.
Yerevan is an ancient city dating back to the rise of the oldest civilizations. To get acquainted with the history of this ancient city you should visit Yerevan History Museum (1/1 Argishti Str.) where the history of our city is presented in 3 departments: Yerevan till the late Middle Ages, Yerevan in the 19th century and Yerevan from the 19th century till our days. The other museum that plays an important role in introducing city’s history is Erebuni Museum of the History of Foundation of Yerevan (38 Erebuni Ave.). In this museum you will see the cuneiform inscription – testimony of establishment of Erebuni cityfortress.
On the victorious days of May it is high time to visit “Mother Armenia” Military Museum (2 Azatutyan Ave.), which introduces the important facts, documents and other instruments of ratification about the great victories of Armenia in the liberation battle of Shushi and Great Patriotic War. While being on a visit in Yerevan, everyone should visit Cafesjian Museumof Contemporary Art in Cascade Complex, where the exhibition halls present the masterpieces of the sculpture and fine arts of the 20th century.
The street in Yerevan which is rich in museums is Abovyan Street. The FolkArtMuseumofArmenia (64 Abovyan) presents the ancient elements of Armenian traditional lifestyle and the “world of miracles” by Ed. Ghazaryan. The next interesting museum is the Children’s Art Museum-Gallery (13 Abovyan Str.),
which is the world’s first Children Picture Gallery, a true center for development of the aesthetic taste of the rising generation. Abovyan street presents the Geological Museum (10 Abovyan) which houses a display of various building materials: tufa, pumice stone, basalts, granite, etc. In this regard, the most interesting museum is the GeologicalInstitute- MuseumofNASRA where you will see the natural resources of the Armenian highland. One of the most interesting and attractive museums for the visitors in Yerevan is the Wood-CarvingMuseum (2/4 Paronyan Str.) which illustrates one of the branches of Armenian culture. In the downtown of Yerevan you can visit the MuseumofRussianArt (38 Isahakyan Str.) that holds the best samples of Russian art history of the 19-20th centuries. The house-museums of prominent Armenian composers, sculptors and painters are situated in the cozy corners of Yerevan. The House-Museumof S. Parajanov, one of the world famous film directors, is situated in one of the elevated districts of Yerevan (15/16 Dzoragyugh Str.). Here you will see the exhibits and photos telling about the life of the great film director and sketches of his films as well. The Museum of H. Tumanyan, the Armenians’ beloved fairytale writer (40 Moskovyan Str.) hosts the visitors to present the real Armenian family atmosphere where the writer welcomed his guests; and the House-MuseumofH.
Tumanyan is situated in his native village Dsegh (Lori Region). Not far from Tumanyan’s museum you can visit the House- MuseumoffamousArmenianpainter M.Saryan (3 Saryan Str.). Walking along Nalbandyan Street in Yerevan you will see two more museums situated not far from each other. These are the House-Museumsofpainter M. Avetisyan (29 Nalbandyan Str.) and composer Al. Spendiaryan (21 Nalbandyan Str.). The Museumsof composerAramKhachatryan (3 Zarubyan Str.) and poet Avetik Isahakyan (20 Zarubyan Str.) are situated on a cozy street in the neighborhood of Baghramyan Avenue.
However, Yerevan is rich in museums and it is impossible to describe their extensive collections in words. The best thing to do is to use the opportunity of the festival of IMD to visit the museums of Yerevan and see the wonderful masterpieces of art with own eyes.