Torkom Demirjian is the founder and chairman of the family run Ariadne Galleries with locations in New York and London and specializing in the art of the ancient civilizations of Egypt, the Near East, Greece, Rome, Asia, as well as early medieval Europe. Mr. Demirjian is a graduate of the Pratt Art Institute in New York, but it was his childhood passion for history and art that led to his love of antiquities. A self-taught specialist and a dealer since 1972, he is highly regarded by his colleagues for his expertise, sense of history, astute aesthetic judgment, and business acumen. Mr. Demirjian believes strongly in the vital role museums play in the preservation of our cultural heritage. The Hermitage Museum, often under very difficult circumstances and in heroic fashion, has maintained this role in addition to its mandate of educating and enlightening the public.
When Mr. Demirjian was invited to join the board of directors of the Hermitage Museum Foundation, he accepted without hesitation and with an overwhelming desire to make a positive contribution. He has great faith that the American tradition of voluntarism will benefit The Hermitage Museum as it has so many museums and cultural institutions throughout the world. The American philanthropic community has generously supported Russian cultural institutions in the past, he said, and when it is informed of the urgent needs and lack of financial resources available to the Hermitage, I have every belief it will rise to the occasion and provide the necessary support again. My trust in American generosity is so profound that I assume the chairman’s role with great optimism and a strong belief that helping such a great institution in Russia can only have a beneficial effect on the relationship between our countries.
Mr. Demirjian has been a participant in many museum, university, and legal panels and conferences and has been widely interviewed in the print media as well on television, including CBS 60 Minutes. He has always sought to increase interest in and knowledge of ancient cultures among collectors and the public and has encouraged contributions to museums by his own example. During the last four decades, he has donated both important collections and individual works of art to museums in the United States and abroad, including in 2010 a major collection of artifacts from Urartu to The Hermitage Museum in honor of Dr. Boris Piotrovsky, for which he received The Hermitage Museum Foundation Award.