Arto De Mirjian (Demirjian)
1920 - 1940s
One of the prominent representatives of American show-business advertising photography is the DeMirjian studio of New York, which, from 1928 until the 1950s, was headed by Arto DeMirjdian, the younger brother of photographer John De Mirejian who died in an car accident at an early age.(1) Together with his family, Arto emigrated from Harput in the years of the Armenian Genocide, probably with the assistance of family members who were already based in New York. He got into photography through his brother John, and their collaboration in the 1920s turned the DeMirjian studio into one of New York’s more famous commercial photography businesses. After John’s death, the type and style of DeMirjian photographs did not undergo significant changes. The studio primarily served Broadway’s theatrical groups, producing numerous portraits and studies of stage personalities - especially young dancers and actresses.
Arto DeMirjian’s photographs are in line with the aesthetic perceptions of the 1930s and 40s American ‘urban’ culture. This was the period in which classical ‘glamor’ photography - having appropriated the more superficial traits of modernist art - reached its full development and flourishing. Arto’s portraits emphasize the erotic appeal of his models, their ‘star-like’ presence and magnetism. In contrast to his brother's extravagant, over-dramatic and theatrical approach, Arto preferred simpler and clearer forms, paying greater attention to the portrayal of his client’s individual personalities.
1) According to New York State census data, Arto De Mirjian died in New York City in 1979 at the age of 80. We have not been able to confirm with absolute certainty whether this information relates to the photographer in question or some other individual.
USA, Ottoman Empire
Kharberd (b.), New York
artistic, studio, commercial
Antreassian, Jack Arthur (ed). Armenians in America, Armenian General Benevolent Union of America, Incorporated, 1977, p.60