Artisans in Gyumri, Armenia’s second largest city, have assumed the monumental task of preserving and reinterpreting the traditions of the master Armenian ceramic artists who once lived in Kütahya, a town just southeast of Istanbul.
“Civilizations are closed by layers and are disrupted. The important thing is to open those layers and ensure uninterrupted continuity,” says Antonio Montalto, Honorary Consul of Italy in Armenia, and founder of the ceramics school in Gyumri.
Kütahya’s ceramic art flourished in the 17th and 18th centuries. The best works of that period are preserved in the Hermitage, the Louvre, the Mkhitarian Congregation’s Museum in Venice, and the British Museum of Art and History.
Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulcher (Church of the Resurrection), Kayseri’s Armenian Apostolic Church of the Archangels (Hreshdagabedats), and Armenian Apostolic churches in Istanbul and Nor Jugha are adorned by the art of the Kütahya Armenian ceramicists.