Baron De Mirjian

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Baron De Mirjian- Nude, 1920s

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Baron De Mirjian- Woman in Feather Costume, 1920s

John De Mirjian

John de Mirjian. Marguerite Agniel posing in a two-piece costume and matching turban 1929.

John de Mirjian. Marguerite Agniel posing in a two-piece costume and matching turban 1929.

John de Mirjian. Marguerite Agniel posing in a two-piece costume and matching turban 1929.

 »  John De Mirjian The Broadway glamour photographer’s short but brilliant heyday lasted six years, from 1922 until his death in a speeding roadster containing a mysterious woman in 1928. An extravagant personality given to gambling and womanizing, De Mirjian brooked no criticism of his taste or resistance to his desire, throwing temper tantrums during photo shoots if sitters failed to follow his directions.

In February 1927, Olga, his wife of a little over one year, sued for divorce, citing repeated physical abuse and being forced to labor at her husband’s studio round the clock. In her court testimony she revealed that the photographer cleared 25K$ annually, making his one of the most lucrative studios in the city. One reason for his financial success was his arrangement with Earl Carroll, impresario of ‘The Vanities,’ to photograph publicity for his revue, a show that pushed the envelope in the theatrical display of female flesh.

In 1925 De Mirjian became a photographic celebrity when newspapers covered his trial in which actress Louise Brooks sued to stop his distribution of risque photos taken of her in 1923 ( See these photography on the site Here). Brooks in the court claimed that a nude shoot was the publicity price every girl new to Broadway must pay. De Mirjian testified, ‘Have I not photographed a thousand others wearing maybe a shoe, maybe a hat, maybe a shawl. . . and not only the girls of the shows but the women of society as well.’

The bulk of De Mijian’s risque photography appeared on two magazines of the mid-1920s: ART LOVERS and ARTISTS AND MODELS. Modeled on Edwin Bower Hesser’s successful ARTS MONTHLY PICTORIAL begun in 1922, these soft paper monthlies featured shots of semi-nude showgirls in artistic poses.

In 1925 De Mirjian was supplying imagery for both magazines. It is interesting to observe that the Schubert Brothers, who sponsored the annual « Artists and Models » girlie revues on Broadway were rivals of Earl Carroll, De Mirjian’s principle employer. Yet their appreciation of De Mirjian’s mastery of drape shots and nudes overrode their disinclination to patronize an artist in the hire of a rival. Besides showgirls in drapes and society women in stylish dishabille, De Mirjian had a particular talent for ‘two-shots,’ portraits showing the interaction, usually romantic, of two persons. His career ended spectacularly on September 24, 1928, when his Peerless roadster careened off the Jerico turnpike, L. I., going 70 miles an hour. His passenger, a married actress, Mrs. Gloria Christy, survived and told authorities she was his half-sister. She was not.

John’s brother, Arto De Mirjian, who had assisted in the studio, took over the business. He kept it a going concern until 1950, surviving debt proceedings in the early 1930s and a merger with Nasib, the vaudeville and dance photographer shortly thereafter. Arto De Mirjian continued the studio’s documentation of Broadway productions and achievied in portraiture an expertise equal to that of his brother. He remained an active photographer in New York until about 1950 when he sold his archive to the Culver Service, moved to California, and set up a studio in the Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.  »

Text by David S. Shields found on the marvelous dealer on Ebay grapefruitmoongallery

 

More about John de Mirjan on the site

I beginning with two Photography of Arto de Mirjian

Studio de Mirjian -Photography by Arto de Mirjan (John de Mirjian’s brother)

Studio de Mirjian -Photography by Arto de Mirjan (John de Mirjian's brother) - Miss Cornelia Rogers as mermaid from Flying High George White musical c. 1930

Studio de Mirjian -Photography by Arto de Mirjan (John de Mirjian’s brother) – Miss Cornelia Rogers as mermaid from Flying High George White musical c. 1930

Studio de Mirjian -Photography by Arto de Mirjan (John de Mirjian's brother)-Joan Kent,with pearls In Arthur Hammerstch's musical play, 1930

Studio de Mirjian -Photography by Arto de Mirjan (John de Mirjian’s brother)-Joan Kent,with pearls In Arthur Hammerstch’s musical play, 1930

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John De Mirjian – Untitled ( woman in stage costume with feather), 1920

John De Mirjian - Nu, 1920

John De Mirjian – Nu, 1920

John De Mirjian - Nu, detail, 1920

John De Mirjian – Nu, detail, 1920

John de Mirjian. Aysa Kass Premiere danseuse in flame of love

Baron (John De Mirjian) - Etude de nu, New York, 1920s.

Baron (John De Mirjian) – Etude de nu, New York, 1920s.

Baron De Mirjian - Nude , 1920s

Baron De Mirjian – Nude , 1920s

Baron De Mirjian - Nude with Long Shawl, 1920s

Baron De Mirjian – Nude with Long Shawl, 1920s

John De Mirjian - ETHEL DALE, 1920s

John De Mirjian – Ethel Dale , 1920s

John De Mirjian - Nu à la dentelle, New York, années 1920

John De Mirjian – Nu à la dentelle, New York, années 1920

John De Mirjian - Louise from the serie boudoir, 1920

John De Mirjian – Louise from the serie boudoir, 1920

John De Mirjian - Mildred Douglas, 1922

John De Mirjian – Mildred Douglas, 1922

John de Mirjian .Veiled Dancer circa 1920 gelatin silver print

Baron De Mirjian - Woman with Feather Costume, 1920

Baron De Mirjian – Woman with Feather Costume, 1920

John De Mirjian- flapper showgirls. 1920s

John De Mirjian- flapper showgirls. 1920s

John De Mirjian- Dancer in topless, 1926

John De Mirjian- Dancer in topless, 1926

John De Mirjian Gay Paree, 1925, dancers,

John De Mirjian Gay Paree, 1925, dancers,

John De Mirjian Geraldine Pratt, 1925-27

John De Mirjian Geraldine Pratt, 1925-27

John De Mirjian - Rose marie Haynes , published in the new Eve, 1926

John De Mirjian – Rose marie Haynes , published in the new Eve, 1926

John De Mirjian - Jean Yoder, 1926.

John De Mirjian – Jean Yoder, 1926.

John De Mirjian - Jean Yoder, 1926.

John De Mirjian – Jean Yoder, 1926.

John De Mirjian - Jean Yoder, 1926.

John De Mirjian – Jean Yoder, 1926.

John De Mirjian Mabelle Swor, 1926

John De Mirjian Mabelle Swor, 1926

 

John De Mirjian Mabelle Swor, 1926

John De Mirjian Mabelle Swor, 1926

John De Mirjian- Allenova Varola, 1922-28 , (Broadway, Manhattan)

John De Mirjian- Allenova Varola, 1922-28 , (Broadway, Manhattan)

 

John De Mirjian Anita Pam, 1928

John De Mirjian  ( probly arto ) Anita Pam, 1928

John De Mirjian Nina Sorel, 1928

Studio De Mirjian (probably Arto) -Nina Sorel, 1928

 

 

John de Mirjian- Louise Brooks

John de Mirjian- Louise Brooks in Negative, 1925

John de Mirjian- Louise Brooks in Negative, 1925

John de Mirjian- Louise Brooks nude Positive, 1925 ( by me)

John de Mirjian- Louise Brooks nude Positive, 1925 ( by me)

John de Mijian - Louise Brook from series of draped nude, photographs of louise, 1925,

John de Mijian – Louise Brook from series of draped nude, photographs of louise, 1925

John de Mijian - Louise Brook from series of draped nude, photographs of louise, 1925

John de Mijian – Louise Brook from series of draped nude, photographs of louise, 1925

John De Mirjian- Dolores Edwards, 1930’s

John De Mirjian- Dolores Edwards,  from Artists and Models 1930’s