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The World Bank Art Program

PRESS RELEASE

The World Bank Art Program

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Contacts:  The World Bank Art Program  General Services Department  www.worldbank.org/artprogram  artprogram@worldbank.org Tel. 202-458-0333 /  Fax 202-522-3239

Contemporary and Traditional Rugs from Armenia

The World Bank Art Programs mission is to support the vocation of the World Bank to give voice to all parts of society.  Art is an engine for promoting thinking differently and it offers an effective way to display the constant enrichment that our member countries offer to human history and to the contemporary world.

With this in mind, the Art Program, in cooperation with the Embassy of Armenia to the United States, under the auspices of the World Bank Vice Presidency for Europe and Central Asia, is honored to present: Contemporary and Traditional Rugs from Armenia, an exhibition organized in celebration of the 15th anniversary of independence of Armenia.

Mark S. Keshishian: In front of "My Pride and Joy", Karatchoph-Karabagh, Dated 1838. Once part of my Father's collection and one of his favorites, as well as being in, and on the back cover of the book "Weavers, Merchant and Kings", this carpet was also published in "Inscribed Rugs of Yesteryear", by James M. Keshishian.  (Part of the Mark S. Keshishian Collection, X Edison Collection, X James M. Keshishian Collection)

Contemporary and Traditional Rugs from Armenia showcases the countrys artistic and spiritual creativity and ingenuity, as well as the vitality of its cultural industries.  It presents for the first time to the World Bank staff and visitors a selection of exquisite classic/traditional and contemporary Armenian carpets from the collections of Mark Keshishian & Sons, Inc. and Megerian Brothers Oriental Rugs, Inc. which showcase the connection between the ancient tradition of textile design and the works of emerging talents in invention and craftsmanship.

Armenian rugs have been admired and celebrated for centuries.  Among the most ancient archeological founds, fragments of burial rugs from the 2nd and 1st millennium B.C., witness of this long and admired tradition.  Greek, Roman, Arab, Christian writers praised the Armenian rugs.  The Italian Marco Polo, one of the first European cultural diplomats, traveled through Armenian cities in the 13th century and admired the industriousness and creativity of their people calling the Armenian [] rugs the most beautiful of the world.  And still this was not yet the peak of the Armenian production, which only two centuries after Polo reached unrivalled levels of craftsmanship and elegant intricacy.  In the 15th through the 17th centuries Armenian carpets reached the apogee of their glory and became a status symbol fit for a king.

Today, however, we do not admire only an ancient art, but also the reawakening of a wonderful trade in the respect of an ancient cultural heritage.

In the wake of the globalization process, the Armenian cultural industries are aiming at becoming one of the key players in the international arena.   With this in mind, please enjoy the ancient and the contemporary carpets in display, a selection of artistic masterworks highlighting the wealth and complexity of iconographic tradition of carpet weaving.

Our gratitude goes to Mr. John Megerian and Mr. Mark Samson Keshishian - collectors/connoisseurs/merchants - who, like new Polos, have been the generous cultural ambassadors of this art and fulfilled the vision that the Embassy and the Art Program shared, making this exhibition possible.

Opening Reception

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

12:00 pm  to 1:30 pm

World Bank H building lobby

600 19th street NW, Washington D.C. 20433

The exhibition is open to the public
December 6, 2006 through January 7, 2007
No pass requested

Note:  If you fall in love with one of the rugs, we fully understand.  Please contact the art program and we will be happy to provide you with the contact information for acquiring it for your home or office.