Sumbat Der Kiureghian
I love this family. Eccentric, Armenian, artistic.
In December 1952, Sumbat Der Kiureghian (1913-1999), a brilliant Armenina watercolor artist from Iran, painted the first in a series of creations that became the family Christmas cards. His first painting depicted the family riding a horse-driven carriage on a snowy road near a river with a bridge and a mosque showing in the distance – a typical Isfahan scene.
The faces were cut outs from a family photograph and seamlessly blended into a watercolor background, collage/decoupage style. The image was photographed and made into the family Christmas card, beginning a tradition that lasted 22 years. Some of the paintings depict traditional scenes, carpet weaving, bread making, cobbling, others are set in the snow, at picnics, in play. My personal favorites are the family musing souvenirs in 1970, playing in the Sumbat Band in 1961, visiting with reindeer in 1963 and turning the mirror round and posing Sumbat as their artistic model in 1962.
The members of the family are: Sumbat’s wife, Arax (born 1921), first daughter Siroush (born 1945), son Armen (born 1947), second daughter Tagoush (born 1959) and, of course, Bobee the dog. I love the way their characters develop through the years. Armen looks like such a poetic dude, his sisters are lovely and the whole simple silliness and love of art thing makes me smile.