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Hovhannes Toumanian


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Green Hall

Hovhannes Toumanian is born on the 19th of February, 1869, in one of the most beautiful corners of Northern Armenia, Dsegh village. That day turned out to be one of the fortunate times of the fate of the Armenian people. That day came to life an individual who would turn out to be a man-state, man-university and spiritual leader to a people that had for the last six centuries lived stateless. At the center of the Green Hall is the mock-up of Toumanian’s ancestral and native home in Dsegh, along with its immediate surroundings. The house is still standing and is transformed into a house-museum. It is worth going to Dsegh and visit there, to promenade in Toumanian’s favorite locations. That would be very emotional. But right now, we are at Toumanian’s Yerevan place. And the Green Hall narrates about his childhood to early teens, his first love, his travel to Tiflis to study at the Nersisian school and the new life which he started there, which was the beginning to the literary career and married life.

Orange Hall

From the story of “Gikor” and the poem of “Maro” to the fruitful era of creativity ` 1901-1903, also known as “Abastumanian autumn” is what the Apricot Hall talks about. Here are the notable “Anush”, “Parvana”, “the conquest of Tmkaberd”, “David of Sassoun” and other creations’ related handwritings and various testimonies on Toumanian’s masterpieces. Here is also exhibited Toumanian’s pacifistic mission, his arrest under the blame of “executing Dashnaktsutiun-like operations”, his imprisonment in St. Petersburg followed by his justification in court through documents and photographs.

Vernatoun (Garret)

In between the Orange and Blue Halls is located a tender corner, a symbolic room. That is the Vernatoun (the Garret), the meeting place for literary and social meetings, the address being Behbutian street, 44th apartment, 5th floor, Tiflis, Hovhannes Toumanian’s place. It is in the Garret that the members and sympathizers gathered and usurped world culture, the national and pan-humanitarian heritage and crystalized the mind and taste. It had become a university, an environment to freely express oneself and the birthplace of free thought. It is an exemplary place representing the harmonious co-habitation of intellectuals, friendship for a united goal. The Garret has been the place to address cultural and moral problems for the Armenian intellectuals. Gh. Aghayan, L. Shant, N. Aghbalian, A. Ishakayan, D. Demirchyan, led of course by the host Toumanian were the members. As a tradition during gatherings was served hyacinth beans.
It was in 1985, with the efforts of Toumanian’s youngest daughter, Tamar Toumanian that this small corner was opened, depicting the exact replica of the 1899-1909 Garret. It seems, that wherever they are, the members would show up accompanied by other renowned intellectuals of the time, such as the likes of Komitas, G. Bashinjaghyan, Leo, P. Proshyan, A. Chopanyan, V. Papazyan, and the wise debates will begin.
Toumanian’s residence was the most well-known and desired meeting place. That had come due to Hovhanness’ and his wife Olga’s will, for they were thrilled with the idea by heart and soul. It is not in vain that their house was transformed into “a monastery, celebrations, a continuous growing meeting place”.

Blue Hall

Toumanian’s most difficult years were the years of the First World War. He was psychologically destroyed by the Armenian Genocide that started in 1915. But he was the spiritual leader of his people, he was the people’s conscience, hence he did not have the right to be weakened. He had a greater responsibility. By overcoming the great tragedy, he understood what was needed for the people, and that was HOPE. Toumanian became the man who bore that HOPE. He completely entered into the domain of civic activism. Still during the beginning of the War, he lead the “Armenian Writers’ Caucasian Union”, which one of the activities were the placing of G. Bashinjaghyan’s planned Sayat Nova’s Memorial at the park of St. Gevorg church. Later on Toumanian lead the “Haykazian Union”.

Pink Hall

The Pink Hall talks about Toumanian being at the crossroads of Eastern and Western wisdoms. During the last period of his life Toumanian’s perception was aimed at the spatial infinite. His mind was soaring in the sky. His discourses were with God. He philosophizes in his Quartets about the meaning of life, and also of the vagueness, mankind’s pains and condensations of love. Here can be found his lamentation, and the good tidings of his Celestial immortality. The stairs at the end of the Pink Hall lead us to the second floor, where Toumanian’s last Tiflis Appartment has been reproduced exactly the same way as it was, composed of six rooms and a balcony. On the address of Voznesenskaya 18, Toumanian has lived from 1909 to 1923.