The signatures on Sevruguin’s prints signal the ways in which the photographer wished to be understood. Initially, he signed his name in Cyrillic on the front of some of his photographs, identifying himself as a “Russian” language photographer. In a later stage of his career, he wrote his name in a French manner—“Antoine Sevruguine”—on some of the mounts. On the backs of some of his photographs he wrote in French and Persian, and in Persian he described himself as a “Russian photographer,” an appellation he did away with at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Absent from all of these iterations—signature, mounts, and backstamps—is the Armenian script. Even though Sevruguin was part of the Armenian community in Tehran and had Armenian clients as subjects, he chose, in contrast to many Armenian photographers, not to emphasize his Armenian heritage through his work.
Antoin Sevruguin: Past and Present (OIMP 40) publishes for the first time the OI Museum's complete collection of nineteenth-century Iranian photographs, primarily attributed to Antoin Sevruguin, and includes a series of essays that investigate Sevruguin’s life and photographic career, as well as the lasting impact of his unique vision.
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