From 1915 through 1918, more than a million Armenians living under Ottoman rule were massacred. Many who survived the genocide fled their homeland, some secretly harboring sacred objects as they passed through border stations on their journey to the United States.
At first, the objects were honored quietly in bedroom shrines. But eventually many were donated to a group of Armenians in the Boston area who wanted to protect them for future generations.
The founders of the Armenian Museum of America in Watertown rented the basement of a Belmont church, which served as the museum from 1986 to 1990, when it moved to its current quarters at 65 Main St.
As if by reflex, some of the objects were boxed again. That is, until this past January, when Jennifer Liston Munson joined the museum as its new executive director.