The “Galentz Museum” opened its doors on April 27, 2010, 40 years after the death of the renowned painter Haroutiun Galentz. Galentz’s works have paved new ways for the Armenian art, by opening forbidden doors for the new generation to an individual’s spiritual world and freedom of individual worldview and artistic self-expression under the Soviet Regime. Due to his works, the European painting culture penetrated into the Armenian Soviet art, finding its transformation in the unique and incredible art of Galentz on his motherland.
The “Galentz Museum” was established due to the joint efforts of Haroutiun Galentz’s family – his wife, artist Armine Galentz, and his sons Saro and Armen Galentzs, whose private collections set basis for the museum exhibitions.
The “Galentz Museum” was founded in the place of the house-studio established by the two artists in 1946, which was built after they had permanently moved from Beirut to Soviet Armenia. That studio became one of the important cultural hearths of Yerevan which hosted leading individuals both from Armenia and abroad.
The idea of the establishment of the “Galentz Museum” was brought forth immediately after the artist’s death in 1967 by the Ministry of Culture of Armenian SSR and Yerevan City Council. Nevertheless the idea had never realized and been postponed for years due to several reasons, and first of all, because of the irrelevant architectural plans presented at that time.
Due to Armine Galentz’s efforts, a permanent exhibition of Haroutiun Galentz’s works opened to the public in his studio one year after his death, in 1968. This in fact served as a prototype for the private gallery – a unique and bold idea in the former USSR. By the 90’s the ”studio-gallery” continued to be an important meeting point for enjoying the works of both Haroutiun and Armine Galentzs. It was a meeting point for artists, writers, musicians and for all those who were not indifferent to art and culture.
The never fading interest of the fans and specialists following Galentz’s art, the need for preserving and studying the legacy of the two painters, and the wide audience that could no more be fitted in the humble studio of the Galentzs, urgently called for the establishment of the museum.
In the mid 90’s the plan of the museum was launched headed by Saro Galentz, artist and designer, Professor at Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts. The renovation of the old building and the construction of the other two storeys began in 2002; the house-studio was expanded, comprising exhibition halls on the newly built 2nd and 3rd floors. The two gardens nearby the museum, which were planted and taken care of by the Galentzs over their lives, were preserved.
The “Galentz Museum” is a private institution, supported by individual donors, foundations and others.
The RA Ministry of Culture has a considerable investment in the development of the “Galentz Museum”; due to this cooperation, it has been possible to bring to life a number of important projects in Armenia, as well as abroad.
Since 2011, besides the permanent exhibition and the organization of temporary exhibitions of the museum collections, contemporary art exhibitions of guest artists have been held at the “Galentz Museum”. This initiative provides an opportunity to support the development of the leading artistic mindset and understanding among artists, and will become a constituent part of the exhibition policy of the museum in the future.
The scientific research activity of the museum supposes studying and systematizing the personal archives of the two painters; discovering new, yet unknown works in other collections; developing general catalogs of the artists’ works and comprehensive bibliographies of all the literal pieces and articles written by them and about them.