MISSION HILLS, CA — Ararat-Eskijian Museum Presents a Conference on Armenian Photographers: “The Eyes of Our Culture”. This conference is dedicated to the memory of the museum’s patron, Hasmik Mgrdichian.

Armenians have been the dominant, native-born photographers in the Middle East since this new technology made its way east from Europe during the second half of the 19th century. This day-long conference at the Ararat-Eskijian Museum will focus on historic and contemporary Armenian photographers from the view point of archivists, historians, photographers, and the grandson of an Ottoman Armenian photographer.

The conference will provide an overview of Armenian photographers past and present virtually unknown to the Armenian community. As photography deals with the physics of bringing light into a permanent image, so too did the Armenians who dominated the early field of photography bring light to darkness. Their work spurred cultural development and helped move the societies in which they lived into the modern era. Their photographs documented current events and travels, promoted economic development, recorded archaeological discoveries, and captured a visual record of everyday life. Thanks to their legacy and ongoing work, we can today glimpse into the rich Armenian culture both before and after the Genocide and see the land and heritage of a nation that has survived and overcome a genocide.

The conference will be moderated by art historian Ramela Grigorian Abbamontian, Ph.D. Panelists will include: Joseph E. Malikian, Ph.D., Project Director of The Middle East and Armenian Photographic Archive (MEAPP); Armen Marsoobian Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Southern Connecticut State University, researcher and author; Vigen Galstyan, doctoral candidate, Director of Lusadaran.org; Bardig Kouyoumdjian, photojournalist; Ruth Thomasian, Founder and CEO of Project SAVE Armenian Photograph Archives, Kevork Djansezian, photojournalist; Vahe Peroomian, Ph.D., photographer; Ara Oshagan, photographer and installation artist.

Saturday, September 12, 2015 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Ararat-Eskijian Museum; Sheen Memorial Chapel
15105 Mission Hills Road, Mission Hills, Calif. 91345

For information, contact: (747) 500-7585 or [email protected].
The event is open to the public with free admission. Lunch will be available for purchase.

  1. My maternal grandfather Haratoune Encababian and his brother had a photographic studio, Encababian Frères, in Sivas (Sepastia),Turkey, and then in Constantinople. They were Ottoman photographers from 1898 through 1927, fleeing to America in 1927 with their wives and children (e.g., my mother). I was wondering if my grandfathers works were included in this research and presentation, since some of his works even appeared in National Geographic.

    1. I am doing research on Armenian photographers in central Anatolia, including Sivas/Sebastia. My grandfather Tsolag Dildilian had a studio in Sivas fromm 1888 until around 1896 before moving to Marsovan. I would love to speak with you about the Encababian brothers. Please contact me.

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