Shushi State Museum of Fine Arts and Park of Sculpture

Shushi State Museum of Fine Arts and Park of Sculpture

The Museum of Fine Arts of Shushi was one of the main centres of culture in Karabakh. Its official opening took place on May 9, 2013, to coincide with the day of the citiy’s liberation in 1992. It was opened on the initiative and with the organizational support of Professor Gregory Gabrielyants. One of the historic buildings of the city of Shushi on Kazanchetsoc Street, 24, built in the 19th century and destroyed during the First Karabakh War, was restored to house the State Museum of Fine Arts.

The building was originally an inn built in 1830. From 1923 to 1988 the it was used as a centre for various household services. The building was destroyed in 1992 and only its facade survived. Its original appearance was restored in the spirit of Armenian cultural traditions and in accordance with the architectural appearance of the old Shushi, as it was rebuilt with the support of the government.

All exhibits of the Shushi State Museum of Fine Arts were donations. All the paintings and sculptures were presented by patrons and private collectors. Thus, for the opening of the museum, patrons from Moscow collected more than 300 paintings by artists of various genres. Gregory Gabrielyants donated 25 paintings from his personal collection, Samvel Hovhannisyan - 31, Valentin Bagiriyants - 21, Georgy Zatikian - 15, Narine Davtyan - 9. And by 2020, there was a rich collection of about 650 paintings. The total number of exhibits, including sculptures, was about 800.

Among the authors of the donated paintings were such famous Russian artists as A. Zhilinskiy, A. Shevchenko, D. Plavinsky, A. Safokhin, A. Mogilevsky, P. Kuznetsov, E. Shahin, D. Burlyuk and others. The museum had works of such remarkable Armenian artists as Martiros Saryan, Minas Avetisyan, Jean Carzou, Jean Jansem, Nikolay Nikoghosyan, Hakob Hakobyan, Yuri Grigoryan, Gayane Khachaturian, Karen Aghamyan, Gagik Ghazanchyan, Harutyun Galents and others.

A distinctive feature of this museum was the extensive geography of the presented works. It boasted paintings by artists from Armenia, Russia, Georgia, Lithuania, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Poland, France, USA, Mongolia, Indonesia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Haiti and other countries. Certainly, it had many works by painters of Artsakh.

The Shushi Museum of Fine Arts held individual exhibitions, classical music concerts, film screenings, symposiums of paintings and sculptures. Here, as in other museums of Shushi, educational programs were implemented together with schools. The museum was often visited by schoolchildren who took part in scholarly and educational activities and intellectual games.