Cafesjian Center for the Arts

Tamanyan str. 10, Yerevan


Officially, Cafesjian Center for the Arts also known as the Cafesjian Museum Foundation is an art museum in Yerevan, Armenia. It is located at the central Kentron District, in and around the Yerevan Cascade which is a complex of massive staircase with fountains, ascending up from the Tamanyan Street gardens and pedestrian zone. Inspired by the vision of its founder, Gerard L. Cafesjian, the museum offers a wide variety of exhibitions, derived from the Gerard L. Cafesjian collection of contemporary art. Opened in November 2009, besides the exhibition of unique works of modern art, the museum offers a diverse program of lectures, films, concerts, and numerous educational initiatives for adults and children. Over one million people have visited the Center annually since its opening. The museum is directed and run and the Cafesjian Museum Foundation.

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Open Hours:

  • Sun

    08:00 - 20:00

  • Tue

    08:00 - 20:00

  • Wed

    08:00 - 20:00

  • Thu

    08:00 - 20:00

  • Fri

    08:00 - 20:00

  • Sat

    08:00 - 20:00

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  • Hannah Dadds

    - 27 August 2018 -

    Some interesting and quirky pieces freely available to view inside the cascade and out. When I visited in Summer the exhibition halls were only open Friday-Sunday. I think it's worth paying the 1000AMD ($2) for the paid exhibitions if you enjoy modern/contemporary/abstract art.

  • Nils Sjöberg

    - 13 August 2018 -

    Really good and informative center. I like their library in the 1st floor

  • Suvendu Das

    - 04 August 2018 -

    The Cafesjian Center for the Arts is dedicated to bringing the best of contemporary art to Armenia and presenting the best of Armenian culture to the world. Inspired by the vision of its founder, Gerard L. Cafesjian, the Center offers a wide variety of exhibitions, including a selection of important work from the Gerard L. Cafesjian Collection of contemporary art. Having celebrated its grand opening in November 2009, CCA continues to exhibit unique works of modern and contemporary art and offers a diverse program of lectures, films, concerts, and numerous educational initiatives for adults and children. Over one million people have visited the Center annually since its opening. Gerard Leon Cafesjian (1925-2013) was a businessman and philanthropist who founded the Cafesjian Family Foundation (CFF), the Cafesjian Museum Foundation (CMF) and the Cafesjian Center for the Arts. G. Cafesjian was born on April 26, 1925 in the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. His parents had come to the United States preceding the Armenian Genocide by the Turks in 1915. After amphibious training, he served in the United States Navy in WWII aboard JP Morgan’s yacht, the Corsair III, built in 1895 and renamed the USS Oceanographer. The ship did extensive survey work in and around Guadalcanal and other Solomon Islands. He also served aboard the USS Andres (DE45), a destroyer escort for convoys from the United States to North Africa. When he returned after the war he married Cleo Thomas, a nurse he met during the war. He earned a degree in economics from Hunter College, and a doctorate of jurisprudence from St. Johns University Law School, both in five and a half years. He was a member of the New York Bar Association. The Cascade Complex The building that now houses the Cafesjian Center for the Arts is well known to the Armenian people, especially those living in its capital city of Yerevan. Known as “The Cascade,” the complex was originally conceived by the architect Alexander Tamanyan (1878–1936). Tamanyan desired to connect the northern and central parts of the city—the historic residential and cultural centers of the city—with a vast green area of waterfalls and gardens, cascading down one of the city’s highest promontories. Unfortunately, the plan remained largely forgotten until the late 1970s, when it was revived by Yerevan’s Chief Architect, Jim Torosyan. Torosyan’s conception of the Cascade included Tamanyan’s original plan but incorporated new ideas that included a monumental exterior stairway, a long indoor shaft containing a series of escalators, and an intricate network of halls, courtyards, and outdoor gardens embellished with numerous works of sculpture bearing references to Armenia’s rich history and cultural heritage. Construction of Torosyan’s design of the Cascade was launched by the Soviets in the 1980s but abandoned after the Armenian earthquake of 1988 and the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991. With independent rule and the transition to democracy, Armenia entered a period of severe economic hardship, and the Cascade remained a neglected relic of the Soviet era for more than a decade. Mr. Cafesjian, working with the City of Yerevan and the government of the Republic of Armenia, initiated its recent revitalization in 2002. Over the next seven years, virtually every aspect of the monument was renovated, and much of it completely reconstituted into a Center for the Arts bearing the name of its principal benefactor. Cascade Statistics Number of steps - 572 Distance from the bottom to the top of the Cascade: 302 m / 991 feet Distance from the bottom to the top of the Monument Terrace: 450 m / 1476 feet Width: 50 m / 164 feet Height of Monument Terrace: 118 m / 387 feet Incline: 15 degrees

  • Alexander Sagatelyan

    - 12 May 2018 -

    Must see if you are modern art lover.

  • Mary Go

    - 15 March 2018 -

    Modern art museum. A lot of beautiful and fancy pieces. All works are from all around the world, so art is good topic to join

  • Sahar Sajadi Gh.

    - 17 February 2018 -

    A romantic and classical place. Beautiful.

  • Tigran Sargsyan

    - 08 August 2017 -

    A must see place in Yerevan. Don't miss the works of art both on the inside as well as outside, notably "Vardanank" mural by Grigor Khanjyan and the Crystal room on the last floor.

  • Mirko Spino

    - 04 August 2017 -

    A must see place. I walked on the external stairs, I recommend you to avoid it under the summer sun. The internal collections were closed (3 days a week, maybe a lazy choice) but the external architecture, statues and panorama are something of the best you can see in the city. Walk till the top.

  • Bryce Caster

    - 12 July 2017 -

    A very cool art museum situated on a giant staircase! I'm not sure why, but they are really strict on taking pictures of the art.

  • Anthony Muljadi

    - 27 May 2017 -

    Really cool galleries, particularly the permanent exhibits. You don't need to pay admission to see the good galleries.

  • Majed Rohani

    - 01 January 2015 -

    It's wonderful place. Advise to everyone ;-)

  • Arpiné Grigoryan

    - 27 February 2010 -

    Go to the jazz evenings on Fridays and Saturdays, enjoy the amazing view of Yerevan from the top of the Cascade

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