AIA supports the study of Armenian photography and the unique role Armenian photographers have played in the evolution of modern photography.
We have 5 goals:

preservation, through providing a repository for Armenian photography – both Armenian photographers and other photographers who have focussed on Armenian subjects.

curated exhibitions, online and in-person.

discourse, lectures and symposia dedicated to understanding Armenian photographers and the role they have played specifically in the evolution of photography and, more generally, in history, culture and the arts.

particular focus on photographers and photo-journalists whose works are lesser known.

collaboration with other institutions and archives dedicated to Armenian photography.


The Armenian Image Archive (AIA) is part of the Armenian Film Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization (http://www.armenianfilm.org).

Collections and Exhibitions Curator: Joseph E. Malikian

Early Armenian Photographers

AIA supports the work of the Malikian Collection, whose primary purpose has been to identify Armenians who dominated photography in the commercial capitals of Europe and Asia, starting in the 1850s.  A large number of vintage images have been collected for this project, which represents the work of prominent photographers including: Abdullah Fréres, Sébah, Sébah & Joaillier, Tarkulyan (Atelier Phebus), Iranian, Gulmez Fréres, Lekegian, Krikorian, Sarrafian, Alban, Van Leo, Armand, De Mirjian, Karsh and many others. A major goal of AIA is to conduct research on the Armenian photographic studios that existed in the Middle East from the 1870s through the 1960s.  One study underway is an examination of the transfer of photographic skills and practices that led to the proliferation of these Armenian studios in the Middle East.  With a collection-based focus, AIA will conduct several curatorial projects which will highlight the work of Armenian photographers.

Contemporary Photography

Armenians have long been active in photography, from around the world, including Armenia, Turkey, Canada, Lebanon, Iran and the United States. Armenian photographers have been prominent in major news bureaus, Hollywood, even the White House. Armenian photographers continue to play a role in shaping the way we see the world today. The AIA will provide a platform for contemporary photography by Armenian photographers.