The museum was founded by the government resolution in 1988, after the first exhibition of Parajanov works at the Museum of Armenian Folk Art. At that time 40 of Parajanov's art works were acquired and appropriate premises were allocated, consisting of two buildings in the "Dzoragiugh" Ethnographic Center - one for the museum and the other for Parajanov's home. Construction was delayed due to the earthquake of 1988 and the museum was opened in 1991.
The basis of the museum collection consists of more than 600 works of Parajanov, a large part of which were exhibited in Yerevan in the Museum of Armenian Folk Art in 1988 and 1989, and also the furnishings of his Tbilisi home and his personal belongings, which were brought to Yerevan by the will of the director during his lifetime. An extensive correspondence of the director, including letters from L. Brik, A. Tarkovsky, J. Nikulin, V. Katanyan and other cultural figures is also kept in the museum's archives. The museum's exposition consists of more than 250 works, documents and photographs. Two memorial rooms are also re-created.
Parajanov's works - assemblages, flat and three-dimensional collages, drawings, dolls and film sketches- are his distinctive reactions to life and events around him, his plastic perception of the world. The artist's work has no direct analogies in world art and amazes with its fantazy, wit and artistry. The use of various materials and objects imparts to it a special charm and brilliance. Many works were created during his imprisonment: the Soviet system suspended Parajanov from shooting films for almost 15 years, 5 of which (1973-1977 and 1982) were spent in prisons and "camps of severe regime."
In the museum Parajanov's own artistic and display principles are used. Within eight years the museum has organized 32 exhibitions, including those at Cannes, Thessalonici, Tokyo, Moscow, Rome, Tehran, Peking and other cities. Parajanov Museum is one of the most popular museums in Yerevan.