The Daughter of Armenia and her story
The Art Institute of Chicago houses an oil painting (dated: 1912) by Ralph Elmer Clarkson (American, 1861–1942), entitled “Nouvart Dzeron, A Daughter of Armenia”.
A student of the artist, Nouvart Dzeron posed for him in Armenian traditional garments (taraz) supplied for the sitting by her grandfather. Clarkson highlighted the rich blue and gold of the garments by positioning Dzeron against an unadorned background with strong lighting reminiscent of Spanish Baroque painter Diego Velázquez and French realist Édouard Manet. Clarkson was part of Chicago’s artistic community, establishing a studio in the city in 1896, active in several local arts organizations, and teaching at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Mile Nouvart Dzeron Koshkarian was born in the province of Harpoot, Armenia. At an early age, Nouvart was brought to the United States by her parents who were forced to flee Turkish persecution. A successful professional painter in her adult life, Nouvart abandoned her career and devoted her time to spreading awareness about the atrocities that had occurred against the Armenian people.
In 1920, Baseball Legend Babe Ruth gifted his 50th home run bat to Nouvart at the Polo Grounds in New York. She received the bat which was auctioned off to benefit the Armenian orphans who had survived the Armenian Genocide of 1915.