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Metropolitan Museum of Art appoints Pierre Terjanian as Arms and Armor curator

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced the appointment of Pierre Terjanian as a Curator in the Museum’s Department of Arms and Armor, effective this October. He currently holds the dual role of J. J. Medveckis Associate Curator of Arms and Armor, as well as Acting Head of the Department of European Decorative Arts and Sculpture before 1700, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Pierre Terjanian has worked at the Philadelphia Museum of Art since 1997, first as an Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow of Arms and Armor (1997-2000), and then as Adjunct Associate Curator (2000-2003), Associate Curator (2004-2006), and the J. J. Medveckis Associate Curator (2006-present), all in the Department of European Decorative Arts and Sculpture before 1700. In his current role, he oversees the museum’s Kretzschmar von Kienbusch Collection of more than 1,200 outstanding examples of late medieval and Renaissance European arms and armor and related objects. In 2005, he also took on the position of Acting Head of the Department of European Decorative Arts and Sculpture before 1700, administering the department and overseeing its collection. Among his many activities at the museum, he has researched and re-catalogued extensive portions of the arms and armor collection; rediscovered unique, long-lost 16th-century albums of drawings illustrating the works of leading German armorers; reinstalled four permanent galleries for arms and armor; acquired works including rare 16th-century armors for man and horse; prepared a comprehensive, richly illustrated catalogue of 100 highlights of the arms and armor collection that is scheduled for publication in 2013; and lectured widely.

A native of Strasbourg, France, he obtained a masters degree in law from Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas, a master of science degree in management from HEC Paris, and a doctoral degree in history from Université de Metz, and has also done graduate study in history at the University of California, Berkeley.

The Metropolitan Museum received its first examples of arms and armor in 1896, and began to attract international recognition for its holdings in the field after acquiring, by purchase in 1904, a substantial group of Japanese arms and armor as well as a major private collection of European arms and armor. This led to the establishment of the Department of Arms and Armor by the Museum’s Board of Trustees on October 28, 1912. The collection has continued to grow and now ranks with the other great armories of the world, which reside in Vienna, Madrid, Dresden, and Paris.

The Arms and Armor Galleries, which are among the Museum’s most popular attractions, display the Museum’s outstanding holdings of armor and weapons of sculptural and ornamental beauty from Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and America. In addition to the fine examples of European armor, firearms, and swords, there are on view many spectacular works from the Metropolitan’s renowned collection of Japanese arms and armor, the most comprehensive outside Japan. Galleries are also devoted to arms from various Islamic cultures and to American arms from the Colonial era to the late 19th century. The collection, the most encyclopedic in the world, now consists of more than 14,000 objects that date from the fifth through the 19th century. It encompasses objects ranging from minute ornamental sword fittings to full suits of armor, including a superb series of tournament and parade armors. –

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