Spanning 13 centuries, the exhibition “Armenia!” brings together some 140 objects to present the medieval art and culture of the Armenian peoples in a global context. Armenia has often existed at the borders of medieval art in contemporary scholarship, due to its complex history and continuously shifting borders, which undermine basic understandings of empires and polities. This exhibition seeks to “locate” Armenia through the twin themes of religion and trade, documenting the myriad ways in which Armenians employed visual culture to construct images of the self and community. The works on display demonstrate the distinctive qualities of the Armenian artistic and religious culture, while also documenting contact with an ever-shifting and expanding group of neighbors and trading partners. At once complimenting and extending the reach of the exhibition, the catalog provides scholars with a trove of insightful essays and catalog entries that are, characteristically, deeply researched and will serve as a touchstone in the field for decades to come. Together, this exhibition and catalog calls on medievalists to rethink the way we study and teach medieval art, recognizing the inner diversities, interlocking histories, and extraordinary artistic achievements of Christian communities in the east.

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