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Kélékian, Dikran Khan

Turkish, 1868 - 1951


Born to Armenian parents in Caesaria, Anatolia, Turkey, Dikran G. Kélékian became an authority on Near Eastern art as well as an art collector. The son of Garabed Kélékian, a banker, and his wife Mariam, Dikran came to the United States in 1893 to visit the World's Fair in Chicago, and decided to remain and become a citizen. His education had been in Istanbul and Paris, where he studied Near Eastern archaeology. Kélékian was responsible for bringing the Assyrian Winged Bull and Winged Lion which now guard the entrance of the South Wing of the Metropolitan Museum from the Palace of Ashurnasirpal. Dikran married Margaret Gumchian, also from Anatolia, with whom he had two children, a daughter Albine and a son Charles Dikran, who joined him in his art business. Dikran's title of Khan was bestowed upon him by the Shaw of Persia for services as consul general. Beloved by the New York art world for his expertise and charm, the Khan died tragically at age 83 from a fall from the balcony of his New York hotel suite.


Art Digest 56 (February 1951):5 [obituary]
Art News 50 (March 1951):8 [obituary]
"Kelekian Plunges 21 Floors to Death." The New York Times 31 January 1951:23:4
Hahnloser-Ingold, Margrit. "Collecting Matisses of the 1920s in the 1920s," in Matisse: The Early Years in Nice. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1986: 239-248.

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