armenian family

Somehow this photograph survived. It must have been an incredible journey through history and time. The image carries some scars. The borders of the photograph have been trimmed (probably to fit into a frame), and the photograph is a bit warped. Not terribly warped, but enough to be unable to lie completely flat on an even surface.  This great photograph would look even greater if it was framed. I suppose I have said enough about the condition of the photograph. This image is absolutely extraordinary. The Armenian family in this image may be one of the most expressive photographed families that I have seen in my many years of viewing historic photographs. This is certainly a family that does not hide emotions. The family is also beautiful and wonderfully dressed. I am having difficulty figuring out the family constellation. In my opinion, either the seven people in the photograph are all siblings, or the image captures a father, mother, and their five children. The father would obviously be the man standing in the rear of the picture. The mother, I hypothesize, is the seated woman. What is your theory about the family constellation of the subjects of this fascinating portrait? There is a note inscribed on the bottom left corner of the photograph. I do not know the translation. The previous owner of this image informed me that this family is Armenian in origin and the photograph was taken in Constantinople, Turkey in the 1920’s. It is important to remember the terrible holocaust that the Armenians experienced just before the time of this photograph. There was conflict between Armenians and Turks between 1892 and 1915. This resulted in the Armenian Genocide which occurred between 1915 and 1918. Estimates are that between .9 and 1.2 million Armenians were killed or deported because of alleged political and security considerations. By the end of the 1920’s, the only viable Armenian population left in Turkey was located in Constantinople. This photograph measures about 5 1/2″ x 7 1/2″.


Published in: on August 29, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Reblogged this on First Night History.

  2. I’m inclined to think it’s a family as well. The little girl in her mother’s lap has this expression of “Are we done yet? I wanna go out and play!”

    I often look at older photographs like this and imagine who everyone grew up to be.

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