Database of Armenian photo-media practioners

Leonard Nedolya

1950 - 1960s

Photojournalist Leonard Nedolya - the head of the illustration department of the Communist newspaper in the 1960s - is one of the more colourful, but unjustly forgotten figures of Armenian photojournalism.(1) It is known that the photographer entered the professional scene in the 1950s, publishing his genre-based documentary images in the local press.

Nedolya preferred subjects drawn from the sphere of culture and art, with which he was directly linked through his marriage to the popular actress of Yerevan’s Musical Comedy Theatre, Svetlana Grigoryan.(2) A representative example of his work in this area is the 1962 photograph The Last Chord. It depicts the world-famous American pianist Van Cliburn during a concert in Moscow. In this captivating image, the photographer has brilliantly amalgamated various pictorial solutions to the task of recording a ‘newsworthy’ moment, capturing the artist's personality and enabling a dynamic sense movement in a still image. This rare ability to turn news reportage into a powerful encounter with reality is evident in Nedolya's other photographs that fully embody the enthusiasm, optimism, and vibrancy of freedom that marked socialist cultural modernity between the mid-1950s and 1960s.


1) ‘V Obyektive – Armenia’ [‘Armenia in the Lens’, in Russian], Sovetskoe Foto, no.7, 1965, pp.6-7

2) ‘Svetlana Grigoryan’,վետլանա_Գրիգորյան


Armenian, Russian


USSR, Armenia, ArmSSR




documentary, photo correspondent


analogue photography


[Anonymous], ‘V Obyektive – Armenia’ [‘Armenia in the Lens’, in Russian], Sovetskoe Foto, no.7, 1965, pp.6-7

Other images by this author