Cummings Foundation Grant Recipient

Revealing the Murals of Amenaprkich Vank of New Julfa

Amenaprkich Vank Ani Babaian Dadourian Foundation Mural Painting NAASR Nor Julfa

Wednesday, December 13, 2023, at 7:30pm Eastern / 4:30pm Pacific
In-Person at the NAASR Vartan Gregorian Building, 395 Concord Avenue, Belmont, MA 02478
On Zoom and the NAASR YouTube Channel.

This program was made possible through the generous support of the Dadourian Foundation.

ANI BABAIAN, Library Curator, NAASR and Mural and Oil Paint Conservator

Nor Jugha (New Julfa) played a unique and essential role in the history of the Armenian community of Iran. Surb Amenaprkich Vank (St. Savior’s Cathedral, 1664) is the seat of the Diocese of Isfahan and the southern part of Iran, and until the mid-20th century also for Armenians in India. The construction of this remarkable church began in 1655 and ended in 1664. The church is decorated with fascinating murals, which show scenes from the Old and New Testaments, the life of Gregory the Illuminator, the Last Judgment, floral ornaments, and bands of ceramic tiles.

In this presentation, Ani Babaian talked about S. Amenaprkich Vank’s murals —the artistic styles, the artists, the projects to conserve the murals, and new findings discovered during the conservation process.

Ani Babaian serves as Curator for NAASR’s Mardigian Library, where she has worked since 2013. She is also an independent researcher, artist, and art conservator who holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Alzahra University in Tehran, where her thesis was entitled “Mutual Influences: New Julfa and Isfahan Mural Paintings of the 17th Century.” She has authored numerous articles on Armenian and Persian art, has participated in conferences held in Iran and Armenia, and presentations on Armenian Art in the US. She has contributed to the volumes Armenian Frescoes edited by Dr. Karen Matevosyan (2019) and Armenian Communities of Persia/Iran edited by Richard G. Hovannisian (2022).

During her tenure at the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts of Isfahan, Babaian worked on numerous important conservation projects, including the murals in the gavit or narthex of S. Amenaprkich Vank, in Chehel Sotoun Palace, and in the Museum of Decorative Arts of Isfahan. She has continued her conservation work for private collections and institutions including Holy Trinity Armenian Church of Greater Boston, and others.


National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR)

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