|About the Book|
The Treasured Objects portrayed within provide pathways to visit the lives of Armenians 100 years ago, inspiring connections, dreams, ideas as we imagine the people who once used these items. The Past is both a foreign country and home, viewed across decades, miles and generations. The stuff of memory and forgetting, the objects and their journeys combine narrative, image, and historical context through the stories handed down to their present owners. These Treasured Objects came together first as an exhibition of household items that had accompanied their families in the great dispersion of Armenians from their historic homelands. Some escaped earlier but many belong to survivors of the genocide of 1915 or the destruction of Smyrna (Izmir) in 1922. As Paul Ricoeur has noted, history is both collective and a collection of singular histories. Here we are given diverse perspectives and experiences from a shared past, richly illustrated with images themselves evocative of both past and present. In these textiles, pots, kitchen implements, books, documents and fine jewellery, we sense the presence of the previous owners and their traces in our lives today.