The Eastern Diocese was deeply saddened by the passing of Dr. Lucy Der Manuelian, the pioneering scholar of Armenian Art History, who passed away at her home in Belmont, MA, on September 20. She was 93.
In her long academic career, Dr. Der Manuelian was recognized as the leading scholar of Armenian art in the United States. She came to that vocation relatively late in life, after raising her family; but after receiving her doctorate in 1980, her ascent in the academy was rapid, eventually resulting in her distinguished role at Tufts University as the first Arthur H. Dadian and Ara Oztemel Professor of Armenian Art.
As one of the world’s experts on medieval Armenian architecture, sculpture, and illuminated manuscripts, Dr. Der Manuelian was naturally close to the Armenian Church, and was one of the key figures who brought the majestic wonders of Armenian Christianity to the notice of the world.
“Lucy’s passion for Armenian art and culture brought her into regular contact with the church and our clergy,” reflected Diocesan Primate Bishop Daniel. “She was well known among the New England-area Armenian churches, as well as at the Diocesan Center in New York. On the many occasions when I had the opportunity to meet Lucy—in a lecture hall, a church, a museum, at St. Nersess Seminary, or in my office—she inevitably captivated me with one or another new plan she had to extend our knowledge and appreciation for Armenia’s artistic heritage.”
“What a powerhouse Lucy was!” he said. “We should all have her zeal for the precious heritage of faith we share.”
Her successor at Tufts University, Dr. Christina Maranci, has penned a heartwarming tribute to her friend and mentor, which reveals the professional and personal details of Dr. Lucy Der Manuelian’s remarkable life. Click here to read it.
Some years ago, a documentary featuring Dr. Der Manuelian, titled Lost Treasures of Christianity: The Ancient Monuments of Armenia, was broadcast over Public Television stations. The production is not only an excellent introduction to her life’s work, but also reveals the delightful, warm personal qualities that endeared her to countless people throughout her long, productive life. Click the following links to watch it (Part One, Part Two, Part Three).
May our risen Lord remember his servant in his eternal kingdom, and grant consolation to her loved ones.