Modern Art Museum was established in 1972 by the art critic Henrik Igityan, who was the director of the museum for 37 years. H. Igityan received a great support from the mayor of Yerevan of those years Grigor Hasratyan, as well as from the best Armenian artists of 1960s. As a specialized museum of contemporary and modern art it became the first in the Soviet Union. For further 20 years it was unique modern art center in the above mentioned region. It became a favorite place for tourists and official guests of Yerevan. The first exposition was compiled of the works of the artists of 1960s both from Armenia and Diaspora, who have kindly donated their works to the museum. The existence of the monopoly of the socialist realism in the Soviet Union prohibited modern art in all its expressions. Therefore, no financial assistance was provided by the Government of Armenia and museum was opened thanks to the artists’ donations. The works of the generation of 1960s, in particular, Minas Avetisian, Ashot Hovhannisian, Martin Petrosian, Hakob Hakobian, Gayane Khachaturian, Vruyr Galstian, Henry and Robert Elibekyans, Harutyun Galents, Rudolf Khachatrian, Ashot Bayandour today also are the main axis of the museum exhibit. Later on the exposition was fulfilled with the works of the younger generation, the generation of 1980s: Sargis Hamalbashian, Arthur and Ararat Sargsians, Marine Dilanian, Albert Hakobian, Samvel Baghdasarian, Arevik Arevshatian, Ruben Grigorian, Kamo Nigarian, Armen Gevorgian, Tigran Matulian, Teni Vardanian, Gabriel Manoukian, Nina Kchemchyan, Ayvaz Avoyan etc. In 2004 an American philanthropist Grigor Mouradian presented to the museum paintings and sculpture by Emil Kazaz, and in 2010 Zangezur Copper Molybdenum Combine bought for the museum sculptures by Garen Bedrossian from Canada. All the above mentioned artists are enjoying a great reputation today not only in Armenia but also abroad, where they are often invited for solo exhibitions. The publishing activity of the staff of the museum led by Henrik Igityan deserves a special attention. Recently were published series of albums, such as “Kochar”, “Alexandre Bazhbeuk-Melikian”,” From Hovnatanian to Minas”, “Museum”, “Armenian palette I”,” Armenian palette II”, “Minas Avetisian”, “Vruir Galstian”, “Ashot Hovhannisian”, “Modern Art Museum”, as well as individual catalogs of the artists of 1980s.


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