NEW YORK — Reflecting their strong belief in scholarship and education, and their admiration and respect for a pillar in her field, Ani and Mark Gabrellian have launched the AGBU Helen C. Evans Scholarship to honor the curator of last year’s Armenia! exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
“After several visits to Armenia! and conversations with Dr. Evans, we were inspired to both honor and recognize her outstanding achievements, and to also encourage others to continue exploring this culturally and historically valuable field,” stated the Gabrellians. “We are pleased to be working with AGBU, which has a long and trusted history in providing and administering scholarships.”
The scholarship was announced at a dinner with Dr. Evans, the Mary and Michael Jeharis Curator for Byzantine Art; Daniel Weiss, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Met; C. Griffith Mann, the Michel David-Weill Curator in Charge of The Met’s Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters, along with family, friends and board members from AGBU, which will manage the endowment and scholarship selection process. AGBU also contributed to and collaborated with The Met on the exhibition’s cultural and educational programming during its duration, as well as released a series of Webtalks with Dr. Evans and Dr. Mann.
“I am so appreciative for this tremendous honor and all that it represents in encouraging study in the field which has been so central to my career,” said Dr. Evans. “This scholarship will ensure recognition of the importance of Armenian culture over the next generations.”
In launching the scholarship exactly one year after the Armenia! exhibition closed, the Gabrellians sought to emphasize both the immense pride and excitement shared by Armenians worldwide, and the more than a million visitors, mostly non-Armenians, who had the opportunity to view the first major exhibition of the remarkable achievements of the Armenian people over fourteen centuries, from a global perspective.
“While many institutions, organizations and individuals contributed to make this historic exhibition possible, it was the expertise and determination of one person that made it a reality,” the Gabrellians explained. “Dr. Evans’s knowledge about and passion for Byzantine art, including the significant contributions made by Armenians, resulted in this groundbreaking display.”
This initiative builds on the Gabrellians’ efforts to support students and scholars, especially those focused on the humanities and inter-disciplinary studies, which, they believe, play a key role in understanding the past and improving the future. At the University of Rochester, where Ani is a member of its board of trustees, they have supported both scholarship and programmatic initiatives, including the Mesrop Mashtots Innovation Grants and the Artemis and Hagop Nazerian Humanities Lecture Series, in honor of Ani’s parents. Ani and Mark have also endowed scholarship and internship programs at Cornell University, where they serve on a number of deans’ and other leadership councils.
The AGBU Helen C. Evans Scholarship will support exceptional graduate students from around the world pursuing studies in Armenian art, art history, architecture, or early Christianity. Helen C. Evans Scholars are to demonstrate a strong interest in pursuing world-leading research, teaching, publication and curation to help foster the world’s understanding and appreciation of these topics. The scholarship will be awarded by AGBU, with Dr. Evans assisting in the review process.
The Gabrellians see this as an opportunity for the entire community to meaningfully recognize Dr. Evans’s contributions to this field, and hope others will follow their lead in supporting the endowment for this scholarship. Contributions are invited and may be made by contacting Karen Papazian at [email protected] or calling 212-319-6383. Please make checks payable to AGBU (Memo: Evans Scholarship) and mail to AGBU Development Department, 55 East 59th Street, New York, N.Y. 10022.