Haigazian University

Armenian Photographers across Generations by Dr. Joseph E. Malikian

Jul, 02
Armenian Photographers across Generations by Dr. Joseph E. Malikian


With the support of some 100 photos dating back to the late 19th – early 20th century, Dr. Joseph Malikian focused on the Krikorians, a renowned family of Armenian photographers in the Middle East. Dr. Malikian divided the history of Armenian photography in the Middle East into two periods: 1850s-1915 and 1915-1960s and considered the Abdullah Brothers as the forefathers of Armenian photography.

In this context, he highlighted the families of photographers who acquired the art of photography as their family business for three, and in some cases four generations. Dr. Malikian stressed the role Yesayi Garabedian (later Patriarch of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem) played in establishing a ‘school’ of photography, where a number of talented Armenian photographers had the opportunity to learn the art. These included Haroutioun Sdepanian, Sarkis Sdepanian/Tchichekian/Gulbenk, Garabed Krikorian and others.

Dr. Malikian, who practices clinical psychology in New York, has conducted extensive research on Armenian photographers of the late 19th-early 20th century of the Middle East and has published a book, “The Armenians in the Ottoman Empire”, an Anthology and a Photo History, in 2011 on his findings. Based on newly gathered material he argues that a network of Armenian photographers have prevailed for several generations and have largely controlled the art and business of photography in the Middle East.