The collection of brothers Béatrice and Hrandt Avakian is a complex ensemble of Romanian, European and Oriental art. Béatrice Avakian (1905-1996) was passionate about jewelery, wooden and ivory miniatures, embroidery, and Bohemia crystal. Hrandt Avakian (1900-1990) was mostly attracted by bronze statuettes, archaeological items, Roman glassware, textiles and ceramics.
One of the collection’s highlights is a group of Japanese small sculptures (18th - 19th century), which includes several netsuke (ivory and wooden miniatures) and inrõ (small lacquered and painted partitioned boxes for medicines). Other interesting objects (given the rarity of the iconographic representations) are the Lamaist bronze sculptures of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
The textile holdings comprise various Turkish and Caucasian prayer carpets (16th - 19th centuries), a spectacular horse rug woven in the sumak technique (19th century), embroideries from Bursa and Bukhara, and nineteenth-century Cashmere shawls. Precious metals art is well represented in the collection by goblets, boxes, Turkish mirrors, silverware and jewelery (silver, polychrome enamel, pearls, precious and semiprecious stones) created in workshops in Vienna, Paris, Moscow, London or Augsburg, which reflect both Oriental ostentation and Western comfort. Ceramics is likewise exhibited in the collection: Greek and Roman pieces (1st to 4th centuries), as well as Persian vases, bowls and plates from the 13th to the 19th centuries.
The collection is rounded out by paintings and drawings by Romanian artists, such as Nicolae Grigorescu, Theodor Pallady, Iosif Iser and Gheorghe Petraşcu.
Josefina and Eugen Taru Collection
The collection comprises paintings and drawings by renowned Romanian artists, such as Ioan Andreescu, Theodor Pallady, Nicolae Tonitza, Francisc Şirato, Alexandru Ciucurencu and Ioan Pacea. The donation also includes Romanian wooden icons, Russian icons (18th - 19th centuries), as well as several icons on glass dating from late 18th century.
The visitors can also admire an ensemble of Far Eastern art works (bronze vases, chinaware, a Japanese painting) and some European eighteenth-century furniture pieces. The collection is completed by works signed by Eugen Taru, who had made a name for himself in the arts of satirical drawing and book illustration.