GLENDALE, Calif.—The Armenian Rugs Society has organized a conference entitled “The Armenian Genocide Survivors and the Woven Art.” The conference will examine the impact of the Armenian Genocide on the weaving traditions of the Armenian culture. The event will take place at the Glendale Public Library on Sunday, March 30, from 3 to 7 pm.
This conference aims to illuminate the Armenian Genocide from the perspective of the woven art in its widest scope: rugs, embroideries, lace work, handkerchiefs, textiles, and so on. The artists were widows and orphans, survivors who from the massacres in the mid-1890s through the decades following World War I maintained their sanity and dignity by keeping busy with gainful occupations. In a sense, traumatized as they were, they mocked life’s unfairness and cruelty by producing what was beautiful and ennobling. Their manufactured articles reached Europe, the United States and elsewhere. People purchased them out of humanitarianism, but by doing so they also enriched themselves with priceless artworks.
The following speakers will participate: Gevork Nazaryan, “Armenian Weaving Centers in the Ottoman Empire on the Eve of the Genocide”; Harold Bedoukian, “Armenian Orphans and Orphanages: Their Contribution to the Carpet Weaving World”; Hratch Kozibeyokian, “The Revival of an Ancient People and Their Crafts in Post-World War I Aleppo, Syria”; Susan Lind-Sinanian: “Stitching to Survive: Handcrafts of Armenian Widows and Orphans, 1896-1930”; Garabet Krikor Moumdjian, “Why such conferences matter.” Levon Der Bedrosian will deliver the opening remarks and introduce the speakers.
Several historic Armenian rugs will be on display during this unprecedented event; including a 16th century fragment of an Armenian inscribed rug, as well as a signed “Orphanage” rug that was woven by Armenian orphans.
After the conference, a fund raising auction will take place which will feature many Armenian and other handmade rugs that will be auctioned to benefit the cultural and educational activities of the Armenian Rugs Society.
Glendale Public Library is located at 222 Harvard Street, Glendale, California, 91205.
Admission is free. Additional parking is available in the Glendale Marketplace parking structure that is located across the street on Harvard.
The Armenian Rugs Society was established in 1980 and is dedicated to the study, preservation and documentation of the artistic and cultural contributions made by Armenian rug weavers to the rich and vibrant history of textile arts. The society sponsors conferences, exhibitions and publications to further awareness of these woven works. Events have been held in the United States, Europe, and Armenia.