Photographers: G. Lekegian (Egypt, 18??- )

Figure 1.--The photograph was entitled "Baudel de Matitre". We have no idea what that means. It is ubdated, but as it was an albumen prunt, was probanly taken before the turn-of-the 20th century. It was probably taken some where in Egypt, but elsewhere in North Africa is possible. Notice the Islamic design on the door. I'm not sure what that means. Signed by photographer G. Lekegian."  

G. Lekegian, an Armenian, has leved a fascinating photographic record of late-19th century Egypt. The British established a protectorate in Egypt (1882). The British interest was the Suez Canal. Lekegian moved to Cairo from Istambul. He set up a studio in Cairo (1887). Armenians dominated the early photographic industry in Egypt. Few Arabs knew anything about photography. Egypt did not have a modern education system and the education that did exist emphasized Islam rather than math and science. Lekegian himself photographed Islamic education. The British protectorate did not involve colonizing Egypt. Matters like education were left largely in Egyptian hands. And Islamic education continued unaffected by the British. Lekegian, rapidly acquired a reputation for the quality of his work. Lekegian ususlly signed his photographs "Photographic Artistique G. Lekegian & Co". This was French based company. He won the Gold Medal at the International Photography Exhibition in Paris in 1892, and the Grand Prize at the International Exhibition in Chicago (1893). His work is an important record of Arab life in Egypt and other North African countries. Some of the best 19th century imsges of Egypt were produced by Lekegian. His work is found in many major photographic collections. He located his studio, near the legendary Shepheard's Hotel. As his reputsation grew, he turned the area between Qasr al-Nil Street and Opera Square into a golden triangle of Cairo photography.


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Created: 2:06 AM 7/24/2008
Last updated: 2:12 AM 9/12/2010