the Yerevan State University,

Yerevan, Armenia










Established in April, 1996 UNESCO Chair of Armenian Art History (UNESCO CAAH) at Yerevan State University (YSU) in Yerevan, Republic of Armenia is responsible for newly organised Art History Department, and intends to advance high education in the field of art history in Armenia and through distance education worldwide.

UNESCO CAAH is a research and educational center. It's academic projects correspond to main projects of UNESCO such as Silk Road Project and Culture and Art of the Mediterranean area. The academic staff of UNESCO CAAH will focus its attention on exploration of the interrelations of Armenian Art with the arts of neighboring countries and peoples.

CAAH is supported by UNESCO and YSU and also by the Armenian Community in USA. Recently UNESCO CAAH received from V. Der Manuelian (from Boston) the donation for establishment of Arshag Fetvajian Art Library. UNESCO CAAH had been supported also by GETTY ART HISTORY INFORMATION PROGRAM which donated art software and literature.

The fragmented educational system of YSU is in the process of fundamental change, and although this process has received rare governmental support, the major initiatives and solutions must be advanced through private endeavors and resources if substantial progress is to take place.

Because of the crisis of Soviet and East European economies over this last decade, there is currently no effective means of support for the maintenance of collaboration among the art history educational centers of Armenia, Russia, East and West European countries and USA.

CAAH of YSU intends to compensate those difficulties through the use of modern telecom technologies based upon Internet.



UNESCO CAAH of YSU is unique in former Soviet Union territory as its nucleus is formed by scholars and graduates who received their professional education not only in Armenia and Russia, but also France, Germany, England. In the educational work of CAAH are involved also scholars of the Mashdots Matenadaran (Institute of Old Manuscripts in Yerevan) and the Institute of Fine Art of the National Academy of Armenia.

The patronage and network of UNESCO will provide an international orientation to CAAH of YSU where the language of instruction is Armenian, but guest lecturers will teach also in English , French , German and Russian.

Head of Chair:

Dr. Levon Chookaszian
Address: 36E Tigran Mets, Apt. 30, 375018 Yerevan, ARMENIA
Phone: (3742) 566-540
Fax: (818)956-0143 USA

Other Members of Chair:

  • Garegin Chookaszian, Director of Digital Media Program,
  • e-mail:








    Silk Road Project

    Armenian Art and the Mediterranian Culture

    I. Armenian Digital Art Project (ADAP)

    II. Biographic Dictionary of Armenian Artists and Architects

    III. Distant Education and On-line conferences


    The Projects are part of research activity of postgraduate and undergraduate students.


    Organization of educational process in accordance with the modern demands is impossible without the creation of networked digital resources in the field of Armenian Art. One of the goals of the UNESCO CAAH is to establish the digital resources of Armenian Art and to provide the users with the most recent information in that field via Internet.

    Thousands of Armenian artworks are not published and studied so they need to be described and converted to electronic form. Armenian Digital Art project is also important from the point of view of the electronically resourced future of learning. The use of the electronically networked resources will make the process of teaching and learning much more effective and attractive.

    UNESCO CAAH expects the financial assistance for Armenian Digital Art project and also ''Electronic biographical dictionary of Armenian Artists and architects.'' These are relatively large scale, human intensive, cross-disciplinary, longitudinal projects and will require considerable support over a number of years.

    The CAAH plans to begin with documentation of resource sets according to the standards of the Getty Art History Information Program with whome it has established working relations.

    The head of UNESCO CAAH, Dr. Levon Chookaszian and Technical Director of Digital Media Program of UNESCO CAAH Garegin Chookaszian have long experience in this field. They are the initiators of The Virtual Museum of Armenian Art (multimedia software series, begun 1991). They have demonstrated it during different lectures in various universities and libraries since 1992 (including MIT 1992, 1993, the symposium ''Topics on Persian Art and History'', organized in January of 1993 at UCLA, Pasadena Public Library etc.).


    Dr. L. Chookaszian and other Armenian Art experts who are involved in the work of CAAH organized a large archive of the biographies of Armenian artists and architects. This archive materials were used for the joint work with Saur Allgemeines Kunstlerlexikon (Munchen-Leipzig), which is the world's greatest biographical encyclopedia of artists. Dr. L. Chookaszian is the initiator of the collaboration with this encyclopedia, also one of the authors and editor of all articles that are written in Armenia since 1990 about Armenian artists, architects and published in 5th-12th volumes of German directory.

    Biographies of hundreds of Armenian architects and artists of many centuries are neither studied not published yet and their works are scattered on the territories, museums, and libraries of different countries. The creation of the digital dictionary of the biographies of these artists and architects will give an access to the resources of Armenian Art and will be the source of learning. This electronic dictionary will be the essential part of the distant educational program of UNESCO CAAH.



    CAAH will focus its attention on distance education and will expect the help of sponsors to gain access to e-mail and the Internet for organization of the electronic lectures and international symposiums on Armenian Art and its relations with the arts of other countries and nations.

    Sponsorship is important for further evolution of higher education in the field of art history in Armenia due to using distant education possibilities. Software-assisted methods and art-software can be useful for teaching of World Art history. The future of electronic scholarship is impossible to imagine without involving students in the computerized environment. Current knowledge in the area of World Art history is still quite inadequate in Armenia, so significant funding is needed to learn more about teaching and learning using digital technologies.

    On-line International conferance on Internet devoted to the 100th anniversary of Sirarpi Der Nersessian in September 1996

    The papers presented in this conferance will concern the interests of Sirarpi Der Nersessian , her life and scholarly heritage. There will also be papers on digital revolution and medieval studies.

    The conferance will involve topics on Armenian and Byzantine art history, artistic exchanges and dialogues of the peoples of the Mediterranean, Armenian and Byzantine history.

    We hope that this unique web site would become the first, but not only, permanent virtual meeting territory for the Armenologists and Medievalists from all over the world, thus creating an authority on the Net in these fields.

    This event will provide us the opportunity to promote the Armenian Art and historical heritage over the Internet, including introduction and presentation of several Web related projects initiated by the Yerevan UNESCO Chair.

    This is a difficult task without more fully integration into the international academic community. UNESCO CAAH is interested in cooperation with the other educational and research centers.



    UNESCO sponsorship will give to CAAH the opportunity to increase and innovate its electronic potential, and involve more scholars and technical staff in this project. The support of other involved parties will help UNESCO CAAH to strengthen the educational process at Art History Department of YSU.

    UNESCO CAAH is interested in advices and suggestions of the experts for developing joint initiatives between the best art history programs in the region of former Soviet Union, Europe and worldwide.

    Economic situation of the last decade on territory of former Soviet Union and former Socialist countries is no more effective for the maintenance of collaboration between art history educational centers of Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, Russia, Romania, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria and etc.

    Funding awarded by sponsors to UNESCO CAAH will be used for joint symposia and research projects with the scholars of these countries. The international symposiums and seminars will be organised by UNESCO CAAH and they will concern the problems of cultural dialogues between different peoples.

    Support of sponsors to UNESCO CAAH will bring together a group of international experts and involve them in the teaching process at Art History Department of YSU.

    Part of the funding will be used for long distance lecturers' fees, travel expenses and running costs. Financial assistance will be important also for advanced students, faculty and non-academic staff exchanges. Scholarship grants awarded to Art History Department students may be used by CAAH to continue young people schooling and for the intensive study of English.

    CAAH expects funding for running costs for a full 20 computer classroom at Art History Department of YSU. Support will be essential for the students' access to art projects on Internet and World Wide Web and establishment of art software library at UNESCO CAAH which will be innovative and exceptional in the region ( GETTY ART HISTORY Information Program software already has been donated).

    Sponsors can provide assistance to UNESCO CAAH for printing of textbooks on Armenian and World Art, as during past decades the art historians and art critics of Armenia were not encouraged to produce such literature.

    The goal of UNESCO CAAH is to coordinate the work done in all educational and research centers, museums and libraries of Armenia.

    With the patronage and support of UNESCO, YSU, GETTY ART HISTORY INFORMATION PROGRAM and private donors, CAAH and Art History Department at YSU can help to revive the educational, cultural and intellectual life in Yerevan and entire Armenia.

    Last update: Friday, 16-JUNE-96 15:35:34 Pacific Standard Time
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    On-line International conferance on Internet devoted to the 100th anniversary of Sirarpi Der Nersessian in September 1996


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    Updated: JUNE 16, 1996