GLENDALE–Famous Armenian painter Sumbat Ter-Kiureghian passed away Wednesday after suffering a heart attack. He was 86.
Ter Kiureghian was born in 1913 to a large Armenian family in Isfahan–Iran. His artistic talent became evident very early in his childhood and was nurtured to maturity in his birthplace–which is the capital city of old Persia and a center of Middle Eastern art and culture.
Primarily self-taught–he opened his first studio-gallery in Isfahan in 1930 and made art his sole profession. During 1929-31–he worked closely with Sarkis Khachaturian–a renowned French-Armenian artist–mastering many skills of watercolor and oil painting. During 1949-50–he traveled extensively through the Middle East and Europe–and studied at the Anglo-French Art Center in London–where he also exhibited. In 1965–upon invitation by the Arabian-American Oil Co.–he went to Saudi Arabia to teach art and to exhibit his work in the American communities there. In 1971–he opened his studio-gallery in Tehran–Iran. Ter-Kiureghian has had several one-man and joint exhibitions in Tehran–Isfahan and Abadan in Iran. After his arrival in the United States in 1980–he has had exhibitions in Los Angeles–San Francisco–Berkeley–New York–Boston–Toronto and Yerevan.
Ter-Kiureghian’s watercolors and gouaches are vivid expressions of life in the Middle East-full of energy and happiness–yet pure and simple. They provide that sense of the Orient that is always so elusive and mystical to the Western eye.
A funeral Mass will be said at St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church–500 S. Central Avenue Glendale–at 1 p.m. Monday. Interment will follow at Forest Lawn–Glendale. A memorial lunch will be served at Brandview Collection–109 E. Harvard St.–Glendale–following burial services. In lieu of flowers–donations may be made to the "Save a Child in Armenia" fund established by the Armenian Society of Los Angeles.