In 1968 an unusual exhibition was opened in the Artists’ Union of Armenia. A new pure world, free from invented canons and conventions, declared its right to have its own place in the hierarchy of aesthetic values. The initiators and organizers of the exhibition “The World in Children’s Eyes” were art critic Henry Igityan and educational specialist Janna Aghamiryan. Presented at the exhibition were more than 800 works of children from 65 schools and art studios of Yerevan. The organizers of the exhibition reached their goal; the children’s work proved its right to be called “art”. But it was only one part of the work. There was a need to create conditions for preserving this rich, colorful and fantastic world in order to make it more accessible for the general public.
So on March 13, 1970, at 13 Abovyan Street in Yerevan, Armenia, The Children’s Gallery was opened. That fact became an event not only for the city, but also for the whole country (former USSR). There was nothing like it in the world. Within two weeks nearly 120,000 people visited the exhibition. The Children’s gallery very quickly gained a reputation outside of Armenia and today there are 150,000 works on display from more than 110 countries of the world. Subsequently, the Children’s Gallery served as a foundation from which the National Center of Aesthetics (NCA) was created and in 1980 the Center became a permanent refuge for Children’s Art and Aesthetical Education.
Currently functioning within the Center in Yerevan are two departments with various studios: the Department of Fine Arts and the Department of Decorative Applied Arts, two theaters ̶ «Small Theater” and “Metro” theater-studio, as well as folk dance studio and seven year musical school of national instruments. Branches outside of Yerevan ̶ in Gyumri, Vanadzor, Meghri, Goris and Sevan were established as well.