Dr. Emma Chookaszian
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Dr. Chookaszian Presents Monograph on Gospels of Queen Keran

2 min read

YEREVAN, Armenia — On May 3, American University of Armenia (AUA) adjunct lecturer Dr. Emma Chookaszian presented her second monograph, The Gospels of Queen Keran: Transition to Post Roslin Era in Armenian Miniature Painting of Cilicia, in AUA’s Akian Gallery.  

This new study explores one of the most extravagant manuscripts of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia commissioned by Queen Keran in 1272 (Treasury of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, manuscript number 2563). Dr. Chookaszian’s work is the first monographic study of this Gospel book. Through the monograph, she analyzes the artistic transition of Armenian miniature painting to the post-Roslin era and the iconographic and stylistic innovations adopted by the three artists illuminating the Gospel book. 

During the presentation, Dr. Chookaszian discussed the mysteries of the Gospels of Queen Keran, highlighting the biography of the Armenian Queen and her role in the history of the Armenian Kingdom. Dr. Chookaszian shared the identities of the artists, demonstrating the division of the work between three different masters, two of whom were disciples of the eminent miniaturist Toros Roslin. She shared vibrant photographs of the Gospel book, including the portrait of the royal family depicting Queen Keran and King Levon II with their five children in prayer. The portrait was analyzed from a new angle, as a political statement documenting an important moment of history and showing the Kingdom as a crossroad of Eastern and Western cultural traditions. 

Dr. Chookaszian further underlined the importance of publicizing the illustrations of the manuscript as important gems of Armenian art and sharing the illustrations not only with professional audiences, but also with the general public. 

The preface of Dr. Chookaszian’s book is authored by Valentino Pace, Professor Emeritus of Medieval and Byzantine Art History at Italy’s Università di Udine.  The publication of the book was supported by grants from the Terzyan Foundation and National Association for Armenian Studies and Research.

The audience also had the opportunity to admire the reconstitution of the crown of Queen Keran, created by jeweler VAR (Armen Vardapetyan) based on the royal portrait appearing in the Gospels commissioned by the Queen, as well as engage in a Q&A session with the author. 

Dr. Chookaszian holds a doctoral degree in medieval history and art history from the Paul Valery University in Montpellier, France and specializes in Armenian manuscripts and miniatures. She has curated the private collection of Armenian manuscripts of Gary Tatintsian (Dubai, UAE).

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.