Title and summary note are provided by Shabnam Rahimi-Golkhandan, FSg curatorial research specialist.
Albumen print numbered FSA A2011.03 A.01a; available in Stephen Arpee Collection of Sevruguin Photographs.
Antoin Sevruguin is one of the early pioneers of commercial photography in Iran. He arrived in Iran from Tbilisi, Georgia in the mid 1870s to set up shop in Ala al-Dawla street in Tehran. From the early days, Sevruguin's studio was trusted both by the Qajar court and by foreign visitors to Iran. Highly regarded for their artistic ingenuity outside Iran, Sevruguin's photographs of 'ethnic types,' architecture and landscape, and depictions of daily life of Tehran found their way into foreign travelogues, magazines and books. As such, he stands alone in a relatively large group of early Iranian photographers for being recognized and celebrated outside the boundaries of the country. Antoin Sevruguin passed away in 1933, although his family studio continued for some time as a commercial enterprise.
Antoin Sevruguin photographs in the Myron Bement Smith collection are part of the "Islamic Archives," a collection assembled in part by the Committee for Islamic Culture under the direction of architectural historian Myron Bement Smith (1897-1970). The widow of Myron Bement Smith, Katharine Dennis Smith, donated her husband's papers to the Smithsonian Institution in 1972. The collection was housed in the National Museum of Natural History. Mrs. Smith granted partial rights of the materials to the Institution in 1973 and full rights, interests, and title in 1985. The collection was transferred to the Freer Gallery in 1977.
Gelatin silver prints arranged in sequential number following Joseph Upton's handwritten list of captions, and ultimately organized by Myron B. Smith into subject categories (royalty, people, executions, criminals, punishment, architecture). This print is in the following subject category: People
Joseph Upton purchased 66 black-and-white gelatin silver photoprints in 1928 from Antoin Sevruguin in Tehran (Iran), and subsequently donated them to the Committee for Islamic Culture, as reported in their official minutes of October 24, 1953.
- On recto of the print, handwritten number (inked, probably by Antoin Sevruguin) reads, "428."
- On verso of the print, handwritten caption (penciled, probably by Antoin Sevruguin) in French reads, "Loutis et Lion."
Myron Bement Smith Collection: Antoin Sevruguin Photographs. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. Gift of Katherine Dennis Smith, 1973-1985
Shelf 7: Box 4, Folder 3
Smithsonian Institution, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives, 1050 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20013-7012