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Armenian Library and Museum of America (ALMA)
Ranked #1 of 10 things to do in Watertown
Attraction details
Belmont, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
87 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 December 2013

This bite-size museum has something for every taste. The Karsh photographs alone are worth the trip. For those of Armenian descent, this is a pilgrimage not to be missed. I learned a great deal about the Armenian genocide from the curators, but was not overwhelmed, but rather, impressed by the indomitable spirit of the people. Beautiful exhibits of Armenian rugs, embroidery, costumes, musical instruments, and other arts made it a delight for the eyes.

Visited November 2013
1 Thank MuddyShoesMedford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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20 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Cary, North Carolina
Level Contributor
798 reviews
244 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 211 helpful votes
“Outstanding Museum dedicated to Armenian culture”
Reviewed 22 November 2013

We spent over 2 hours there on a Friday afternoon. The Karsh photos were super but our real reason for being there was to see the Armenian exhibits as both my fathers parents emigrated from Armenia in the late 1890's. They got out before the large genocides at the hands of the Turks. The museum has a lot of old exhibits that I didn't even know still existed. How some of them managed to escape the ravages of the Turks is hard to understand. We would have stayed longer but were on a little bit of a tight schedule. We will have to go back the next time we are in the Boston area.

Visited November 2013
Thank Levon M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arlington, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
50 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“A compelling museum worth a visit”
Reviewed 9 July 2012

I came to see the Karsh photo portraits; I left knowing much more about Armenia and its people and history.

The Karsh photography is easy to like. He photographed many famous faces of the mid-20th century: Robert Frost, Ernest Hemingway, Georgia O'Keeffe, Martin Luther King, Jr., Walt Disney, Norman Rockwell, Eleanor Roosevelt, and others. I found myself looking at their poses, their hands, and how he must have directed them. Martha Graham pressing a hand to her chest, elbow twisted up high. Dr. King looking high over his shoulder, up into the light.

A long exhibit hall tells the history of Armenia. Fascinating artifacts are on display nearby, from religious objects to weapons to textiles to rugs to books, including a copy of the second book ever printed in the Armenian language, from 1512.

Upstairs is a very sad exhibit about the Armenian genocide of 1915. You just shake your head, speechless. The victors may try to write the history books, but the Armenians have their chapter and their voice here.

Also upstairs is an exhibit on the history of the printed book in Armenia, and several examples of traditional dress and jewelry. More art is on display on another upstairs floor where the offices are; take an elevator or the stairs located to the right of the main desk.

One last unexpected treat from this compelling museum: look for the original 1970s Cher (Cherilyn Sarkisian) fashion dolls for sale in the gift shop.

Visited July 2012
2 Thank ChristineCND
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
74 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“visit if you have never experienced Armenian Culture before”
Reviewed 11 February 2012

I went on a Saturday afternoon. The museum is 2 floors of some old bank building. But on the inside there are LOTS of artifacts and posters that show the entire history of the Armenian people, dating to 1500 years before Jesus was born! Artifacts include ancient bronze coins, old instruments, ancient, medieval, and modern texts, and some stuff from the Armenia Genocide, which is featured on the 2nd floor. Expect to take about 2 hours to see everything properly. It's also cheap ($3 admission for students, $7 for adults, kids and seniors are free). As a non-Armenian, I was fascinated to learn more about this long-standing culture that has suffered greatly at the hands of Persians, Romans, and Turks. This is off the beaten path, but Watertown has the largest Armenian community in America. If you are local, or visiting, get in a car and find it!

Visited February 2012
1 Thank samgreat89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
“Great Treasure”
Reviewed 10 September 2005

The museum is great place to learn about the Armenian heritage: ancient artifacts, rare manuscripts, rugs, textiles, paintings, and musical instruments. I didn't think that I will end up spending 2-3 hours at the museum: well I thought I was going to a small ethnic museum. What happened was I was waiting for my reservation at a restaurant next door, and decided to check out the museum. Well, 20 minutes wasn't enough, so I came back next Sunday to check the place out. I've heard that Armenians have a rich culture, but I had no idea that there's a huge museum like this in the Boston area.

Other than the museum there's a modern art gallery on the 3rd floor - don't forget to check it out. And yeah, the gift shop is cool too: great prices. Overall, the museum visit was very pleasant, and only $5 for admission. Pretty cool, don't you think? Highly recommended. Yeah, by the way, the museum hours have changed. It's now Thu, 6-9pm, Fri-Sun, 1-5pm.

4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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