Vartanov at Parajanov Museum (2005)

Is there anywhere in the world a museum of Sergei Parajanov? A museum of his works – his graphics, dolls, collages, photographs, 23 screenplays and librettos of unrealized productions in cinema, theater, ballet… It would become an adornment and pride of any city. I know that sooner or later Parajanov’s screenplays and librettos would be published in a book and I hope that the city with that museum is going to be Yerevan…

Mikhail Vartanov  (1985)

The Sergei Parajanov Museum was founded by the government of the Republic of Armenia in 1988 and consisted of two buildings in the capital city Yerevan, at the Dzoragiugh Ethnographic Center.  The first was for the museum and the second for Paradjanov’s home. Museum’s construction was delayed due to the catastrophic earthquake in 1988 and it only opened in 1991. Maestro Parajanov never got to live in his new home-museum.

Parajanov’s contribution to the art of cinema is first and foremost his original poetic film-language, highly valued by his contemporaries. His aesthetic system also includes plastic art, based on traditions of Armenian, Eastern and European art.

The basis of the Parajanov Museum collection consists of more than 600 of his art works a large part of which were exhibited in Yerevan in the Museum of Armenian Folk Art in 1988 and 1989. By the will of the director, his childhood home’s furnishings and personal belongings were brought to Armenia. Before these items were transferred to Armenia from Paradjanov’s Tblisi, Georgia home on Kote Meskhi 7, the exterior and interior were filmed by his close friend, Mikhail Vartanov, for the award-winning PARAJANOV: THE LAST SPRING documentary. Parajanov Museum archives also include an extensive correspondence of the director with Andrei Tarkovsky, Mikhail Vartanov, Federico Fellini, Yuri Nikulin, Lilia Brik, and other cultural figures. The museum’s exposition consists of more than 250 works, documents and photographs. Two memorial rooms were also re-created.

Parajanov’s art works – assemblages, flat and three-dimensional collages, drawings, dolls and film sketches were mostly created during his 5 year imprisonment and 15 year unemployment and are his distinctive reaction to life and events around him, his plastic perception of the world. Paradjanov’s work has no direct analogies in world of art and amazes with its fantasy, wit and artistry. The use of various materials and objects imparts to it a special charm and brilliance. Parajanov Museum artworks have been exhibited around the world, in US, Europe, and Asia. The first joint Parajanov & Vartanov retrospective and exhibition took place at the prestigious Busan International Film Festival in South Korea.

Parajanov Museum is one of the most popular museums in the capital of Armenia, Yerevan, and is open seven days a week from 10.30 a.m. till 5.00 p.m.

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