Cafesjian Center for the Arts, founded by Gerard Cafesjian, is a famous Armenian art museum in Yerevan. It offers various exhibitions, showing quite unique works of modern art, as well as offering a wide diversity of movies, lectures, educational programs, and concerts both for grownups and children!
Cafesjian Center for the Arts is also known as Cafesjian Museum foundation, since the Art Center is run and directed by Cafesjian family foundation. It was established by Gerard Cafesjian, who created his private collection of modern arts items and presented it to the world.
This museum of Yerevan is considered to have its special place among the most ambitious contemporary art and architecture works that were ever undertaken and completed in the territory of post-Soviet countries.
It is notable that many internationally recognized organizations and figures, such as “The New York Times”, recognized Cafesjian Center for the Arts as a large-scale sculpture, an architecture piece of mad megalomania, as well as one of the most comprehensive and the strangest museums built so far.
Below, we will present you the history and all the necessary information about this Armenian arts center.
Cafesjian Center for the Arts Exhibitions
If you got interested in seeing this Armenian art center, you should know the Cafesjian Center for the Arts building comprises two different sections: external and internal ones, showing both permanent and temporary exhibitions.
The external section, containing the center’s open-air exhibition, is widely known as the Cafesjian Sculpture Garden, while the internal one is called Art Galleries of Cafesjian Center for the Arts. You can get introduced to them below.
Cafesjian Center for the Arts Open-Air Exhibition
The amazing museum, created by Gerard Cafesjian and named after him, will offer you an opportunity to enjoy an amazing open-air exhibition in the Cafesjian Sculpture Garden.
It is located in the area of the Cascade’s front gardens and displays various exhibits and sculptures that might seem a bit strange at first sight! Sculptures, statues and other items are exhibited in the garden terrace, situated along the huge staircase and fountains that ascend up from the Tamanyan Street gardens.
In these sculpture garden, you can admire such worldly recognized sculptors’ and architects’ works, as Fernando Botero, Jaume Plensa, Lynn Chadwick, Barry Flanagan and many more!
Cafesjian Art Galleries
The art galleries of the Cafesjian Center consist of such galleries, as:
- Gallery One
- Khanjyan Gallery
- Eagle Gallery
- Sasuntsi Davit Garden Gallery
- Star Landing
- The auditorium for special events, held at Cafesjian Center for the Arts (located underneath the exterior staircase and fountains)
The galleries and their various sections house a grand collection of works of not only Armenian artists and sculptors, but also many world-famous ones.
What is particularly special about this Arts Center is that the vast majority of the Cafesjian museum’s exhibits derive from its founder’s, Gerard Cafesjian’s personal collection. There are more than 5000 items, displayed in this Armenian art center.
One more special item of this museum is its glass art collections that are considered to be among the most spectacular exhibits throughout the world!
Tourist Information about the Cafesjian Center for the Arts
Location of the Cafesjian Museum
This Armenian arts center is known for its location inside the territory of the Cascade complex which is a favorite place not only for locals, but also foreign visitors.
Since it is located in the central or Kentron District of Yerevan, it can easily be found. You will recognize the Cascade complex by its massive stairs, fountains, as well as the adjacent gardens at the entrance.
How to get to this Armenian art museum?
Min: 600 AMD ($1.25)
Max: 2000 AMD ($4.20)
One route: 100 AMD ($0.25)
As the Cafesjian Center for the Arts is located inside Cascade complex of Yerevan, this museum is quite easy to get! It’s a few minute walk from the city center upstairs or on the elevator inside the museum complex.
The Cascade Complex can be seen from the area of Opera House of Yerevan. Of course, if you are not in the central part of the city, you should take a taxi (costing at least 600 AMD or 1.5 USD) or get there by public transport (100 AMD or 0.3 USD).
Actually, almost all the buses and minibusses, heading to the city center, reach Opera House and the Complex of Cascade, so you can just ask the driver to stop at Opera and get to the museum on foot!
1000 AMD ($2.10)
750 AMD ($1.50)
Free of charge
Working Hours of the Cafesjian Center for the Arts
|Tuesday||10:00 – 17:00|
|Wednesday||10:00 – 17:00|
|Thursday||10:00 – 17:00|
|Friday||10:00 – 20:00|
|Saturday||10:00 – 20:00|
|Sunday||10:00 – 20:00|
Cafesjian Center for the Art History
Regarding the history of the Cafesjian Center for the Arts, we would mention the Museum foundation was created in April of 2002, under the auspices of the Cafesjian Museum Foundation of America, as well as the Armenian Government.
The government of the Republic of Armenia provided the half-constructed complex of the Cascade, Yerevan, and its surrounding territories to the Cafesjian family museum foundation for completing the complex construction.
The beginning of the Cascade complex itself dates back to 1971. The first phase of the plan was completed in 1980. The Cafesjian museum construction launched in April of 2005 and it was expected to be finally completed in April of 2008.
But, nevertheless, the opening ceremony of the Cafesjian Center for the Arts took place on the 17th of November, in 2009. Various prominent persons were attending its opening ceremony, such as the president of the Republic of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, the Minister of Culture, Hasmik Poghosyan, the Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan, many politicians, representatives of diplomatic missions in Armenia, artists and many more.
More than 35 million dollars were invested for completing the Cascade reconstruction by the above-mentioned Cafesjian Museum Foundation. Since 2009, the Armenian art center and museum complex has been successfully developing and attracting quite much tourist attention and interest!
Non-regular exhibitions and events at the Cafesjian Museum
The Cafesjian Center for the Arts besides organizing regular exhibitions, also houses a wide range of non-regular events and programs during the year. Among them you can enjoy the following ones:
Encounter with art!
If you are a lover of arts, you can attend the event, known as “Encounters with Art”. The program of this event was launched in 2010.
It represents a series of events mainly for artists or those adults who concentrate and specialize on arts. It is usually organized on the first Thursday of each month.
Classical music concerts
The program of Cafesjian Classical Music launched in 2010. It is aimed at bringing the best pieces and items of the world’s non-material culture to Armenia and, of course, presenting those of Armenians to the world!
For classical music lovers, the Cafesjian Center for the Arts holds concerts regularly. They usually take place on the first Wednesday of each month at the Special Events Auditorium, about which we have told earlier.
Between May and September, on the last Friday of each month, you can enjoy traditional folk dances in the area of the Cafesjian Center for the Arts.
This program was also launched in 2010. You can see various Armenian folk dances, performed by the famous “Karin Dance Ensemble”. Regardless of weather conditions, these folk dances open show is organized at the Cafesjian Sculpture Garden where lots of people gather and enjoy their time.
Concerts at the Cascade
Since 2010, quite regularly, the Cascade complex also organizes live concerts and performances for the lovers of various genres: rock, jazz or pop music.
The performances take place every Friday and Saturday at the Special events auditorium. During these concerts at the Cafesjian Center for the Arts, you can enjoy, listening to such famous and beloved local singers and bands, as Suren Arustamyan, “Dorians”, “Katuner”, “Armenian Jazz Band” and a few more!
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