Friday, April 21, 2006

Armenian Rugs and Weavings at the ALMA

My second visit this month to the Armenian Library and Museum of America was just as enjoyable as the first. The exhibit "Armenian Rugs and Weavings: Textiles of the Hearth and Heart" just opened last night. The rugs and textiles are beautiful and the sheer diversity of style and design took me by surprise. I had expected them to look like Persian carpets, but they seemed to be distinctly different, even though an employee told me that it can sometimes be difficult to define what an Armenian rug is. All on display had Armenian inscriptions and in many cases they featured large Armenian letters directly woven into the design. The employee was kind enough to spend fifteen minutes answering all of my questions and then adding lots of background information about Armenia and Armenian culture.

There is an independent country called Armenia that has been in its third republic since it declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Its first republic was established in 1918 and recognized internationally as a sovereign state. It was short lived because it was invaded by the Soviet Union. The Second republic under Soviet rule lasted from 1920 until 1991. On April 24, 1915 a large group of Armenian doctors, lawyers, intellectuals and poets such as Daniel Varoujan were massacred in Turkey. Earlier today this massacre was commemorated at the Massachusetts State House. As I mentioned in my last posting about the ALMA, the Armenian genocide is dealt with in a nuanced and very tasteful manner here. A small carpet was on display featuring the face of Varoujan with some family pictures underneath it.


At April 24, 2006, Blogger histfan said...

The employee that I spoke with that day sent me the following e-mail: "Thank you for visiting the museum. I did read your blog. I just have a minor suggestion. April 24, 1915 is the day which the Armenians have chosen to commemorate the Armenian Genocide. The killings didn't last that day only: over the period of 1915-1922 more than one million Armenians dyed in the systematic annihilation campaign initiated by the Turkish Governement. If you would like to read more about the issue and its relevancy for the modern Armenian community, please check out a recent article on MSNBC. The link is provided below..."

I am glad that my entry was read and I did read the article that she referred to in her response. It is important to note that the Genocide took place over a period of years and that it involved a million victims or more. It is my wish that this entry will be seen as rectifying my entry and dealing with the issue tactfully.

At April 24, 2006, Blogger histfan said...

The link did not fully appear in my last comment. So here it is: http://www.


Post a Comment

<< Home