The National Gallery of Armenia was founded in 1921 by the decision of the Soviet Armenian Government, as the Art Department, one of the five departments of the State Museum. Martiros Sarian was appointed the Director of the museum.
The State Museum was then located on Astafian (Abovyan) street, in the two-storey tufa building of boys’ gymnasium (architect V. Simonson).
The first floor of the old building of the National Gallery of Armenia was built by Tamanyan’s project, then the building was covered with white stone. In 1978 the upper floors were renovated and built-architects Mark Grigoryan and Eduard Sarapyan.