Stephen Arpee Collection of Sevruguin Photographs
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
FSA.A2011.03
Creators:
Sevruguin, Antoin, 1851-1933
Dates:
undated
Languages:
Undetermined
Handwritten annotation in English language, on recto of album sheets.
Physical Description:
1 Item
album (99 photoprints)
b&w
31.2 cm. x 41.6 cm. (sheet)
62 albumen prints
b&w
25 cm. x 20 cm. or smaller
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
A large album of prints by photographer Antoin Sevruguin, likely dating from his early career in Iran in the 1870s and 1880s. The collection also includes a number of loose, unbacked prints, many duplicating the photographs in the album. Roughly half of the mounted prints have English handwritten captions.

Arrangement
Arrangement
Images indexed by original photographic print number.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Antoin Sevruguin managed and operated one of the most successful commercial photography studios in Tehran in the late 19th century. Born in the 1840s in Iran, Sevruguin's mother returned with her children to her hometown of Tbilisi after his father Vassil, a Russian diplomat in Iran, died in a horse riding accident. Trained as a painter, Sevruguin returned to Iran in the early 1870s accompanied by his two brothers, establishing a photography studio first in Tabriz and then Tehran. His studio's ties to Tbilisi, however, persisted through the years; many of the early portraits of Dervishes and women have been simultaneously attributed to Antoin Sevruguin and Dimitri Yermakov, the Georgian photographer who is often referred to as Sevruguin's mentor from Tbilisi. Many of Antoin Sevruguin's photographs were published as early as 1885 in travelogues, journals and books indicating that by that time he had a fully established practice in Tehran's Ala al-Dawla street, with ties to the court of Nasir al-Din Shah Qajar. Often unacknowledged as the producer of published images in his own time - the 1902 photographic survey of Persepolis being the most glaring of such authorial misrepresentations - he was nevertheless celebrated and acknowledged for his artistic vision and his keen eye for composition, achieving the Medal of Lion and Sun from Nasir al-Din Shah, the 1897 Medal of Honour in the Brussels International Exposition, and the 1900 Medal of Honour in Paris International Exposition. Reflecting a career that spans nearly half a century, Sevruguin's diverse body of work includes studio portraits of families, women and dervishes, survey photographs of archeological sites, objects, landscapes and architecture, and photographs of royalty, high officials and ceremonies of the Qajar court. The range of his output not only demonstrates his own pictorial concerns and artistic abilities but also the divergent interests of his clients. Despite numerous devastating incidents throughout his career - the loss of more than half of his negatives in a 1908 blast and fire, an unsuccessful attempt at diversifying into cinematography in the 1910s, and the confiscation of the remainder of his negatives in the mid-1920s to name a few - his studio remained operational even after his death in 1933. A number of negatives from the Sevruguin studio can be dated to the years after Antoin's death, indicating that the Sevruguin studio continued to be commercially viable. As one of the most prolific early commercial photographers in Iran, Antoin Sevruguin's artistic legacy has since proved far more enduring.

Administration
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchase; 2011.

Local Numbers
Local Numbers
FSA A2011.03

Digital Content
More …
Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Citation
Stephen Arpee Collection of Sevruguin Photographs. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.
Conditions Governing Use
Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Qajar dynasty, -- Iran, -- 1794-1925 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Architecture Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clothing and dress Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Criminal procedure Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Landscapes Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Executions and executioners Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hairstyles Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
headgear Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jewelry Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Military Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Musical instruments Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Palaces Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Portrait photography Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Religious buildings Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Royalty (Nobility) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Shrines Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Street vendors Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Thrones Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Asia Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Iran Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bandar Anzalī (Iran) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Iṣfahān (Iran) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Qazvīn (Iran) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Qum (Iran) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rasht (Iran) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tehran (Iran) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Albumen prints Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photograph albums Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographic prints Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Studio portraits Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Qajar dynasty -- Iran -- 1794-1925 Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sevruguin, Antoin, 1851-1933 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nāsir al-Dīn Shāh, Shah of Iran, 1831-1896 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kākh-i Gulistān (Tehran, Iran) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
Washington, D.C. 20013
AVRreference@si.edu
https://www.freersackler.si.edu/research/archives/