Erevan, 1931. Octavo (17.5 × 12.5 cm). Original decorative staple-stitched wrappers; 24 pp. Stamp of the library of M. G. Durgarian to title page; stamps of the library of the House of the Artist ("Biblioteka Doma Khudozhnika"). Light soil to wrapper; small marks in red ink throughout the catalog; notes in blue ink to rear wrapper, still about very good.
This exhibit catalog of Soviet Armenian art captures the first eleven years of state sponsorship, and state control, of art in Armenia. The exhibit took place at the art department of the Armenian State Museum in Erevan in 1931, which would later grow into a separate museum in its own right, becoming The State Gallery of Armenia (until 1991; today The National Gallery of Armenia). The Armenian State Museum was founded in 1921, with a small arts department that acquired its initial collection, a mere 40 pieces by artists such as Sedrak Arakelian (1884-1942) and Yeghishe Tadevosyan (1870-1936) at the fifth exhibit of the “Union of Armenian Artists” in the summer of 1921. Soviet museums were undergoing a massive restructuring in this period with the new state nationalizing many formerly private collections and redistributing these throughout the Soviet museums, a process which further enabled the growth of the Armenian State Museum. The Soviet state also expressed a strong interest in and support for new art, organizing further exhibits such as this one, where works by contemporary Armenian artists could be seen and acquired by the museum, with high premium placed on ideologically appropriate subjects. This catalog is divided into four chronological sections: 1921-1922, 1923-1927, 1928-1930, and 1931, the largest section; it lists nearly 500 items on display. Formerly from the library of Maruke Durgaryan (1886-197?), an Armenian pedagogue and author of numerous textbooks, who translated many Russian books for children. One of 500 copies printed. Not in KVK or OCLC, not at the Russian State or National libraries. Book ID: P5914