Dr. Levon Chookaszian to Speak on “Armenian Art Treasures Saved from the Genocide”

Dr. Levon Chookaszian, Kazan Visiting Professor in Armenian Studies at Fresno State, will give his final lecture, in a three-part illustrated series, on "Armenian Art Treasures Saved from the Genocide," at 7:30 PM on Wednesday, November 15, 2006. This lecture, held in cooperation with International Education Week, will be held in the Alice Peters Auditorium, Room 191, in the University Business Center on the Fresno State campus. Armenia’s have created illustrated man’scripts, liturgical vessels and other objects of art made from silver, gold and decorated with precious stones for many centuries. Hundreds and hundreds of these objects were pillaged, destroyed, or lost during foreign invasions. The losses of cultural items were especially immense because of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1922, organized by the Ottoman Turks. Many priceless art treasures were saved during those years of the national catastrophe due to the efforts of numerous Armenian refugees and even foreigners. The Russian Imperial Academy and the Catholicos of All Armenia’s organized expeditions to the Lake Van area, at that time liberated by the joint Russian and Armenian forces, and they started to collect man’scripts, liturgical vestmen’s, vessels, crosses and other artworks that were either left in or hidden in, abandoned monasteries and chapels. Later, some pillaged artworks were sold by Turks in world markets and auctions and certain Armenian collectors or museums bought them. In this way many important items that help to expand our knowledge about Armenian art history and culture were saved. Dr. Chookaszian will utilize slides taken from his many trips to various countries to illustrate his lecture. Dr. Chookaszian is an expert on Armenian illuminated man’scripts of the Middle Ages and has recently finished a monograph on the 13th century Armenian painter, Toros Roslin, the most outstanding painter of medieval Armenia. For many years Dr. Chookaszian has been Director of the UNESCO Chair of Art History at Yerevan State University and a Senior Fellow and Professor of Armenian Art at the Center for Armenian Studies at Yerevan State University. Dr. Chookaszian is the author of more than 200 articles and reviews for scholarly journals and newspapers as well as numerous entries for encyclopedias. He is also the recipient of several prestigious gran’s that have helped him pursue his research in Armenian art history. The lecture is fee and open to the public. Relaxed parking is available in Lot J, after 7 p.m. For more on the lecture please contact the Armenian Studies Program at 559-278-2669.

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