Database of Armenian photo-media practioners

H. (Hambardzum?) Utugian

1900 - 1910s

The town of Heliopolis near Cairo was founded in 1907 as a luxury and entertainment district built in the European style and has long been the favourite residential area for Egypt’s elite classes. H. Utugian moved to Heliopolis since the first years of the settlement’s foundation. He received his affluent, mostly Egyptian clients in his richly-decked studio located on 13 Ibrahim Street. Interestingly, the name of Utugian’s establishment was American Photography Studio.(1) This indicates that the photographer moved to Egypt after living for some time in the United States and he was probably the 1865-born Hambardzum Utugian from Constantinople who became an American citizen in 1900.(2) In the 1910s the studio’s name was changed to H. Utugian and Co, signalling that the business was run in partnership with another photographer whose identity is not known to us.

Utugian’s studio portraits are very regal and exude an air of noblesse. Of particular note is the photographer’s masterful use of lighting, which attentively sculpts the sitters’ features into very complimentary looks. The studio appears to have ceased operating in the early 1920s. There is a possibility that the commercial photographer G. Utugian, working in Paris between the 1920s and 30s was directly related to H. Utugian.

1) ‘Armenians in Egypt – Cairo’,, 2017.11.11,

2) Armenian Immigration Project,



Egyptian, Armenian


USA, Egypt




American Photography Studion, H. Utugian & Co.




analogue photography