Itzhak (Itzik) Khonovitch

Itzhak (Itzik) Khonovitch was a Jewish photographer active in Vilnius in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was born in 1842, having trained under Vilnius photographer Šachnas Privalskis and opened his own photo studio in 1866. Between 1871 and 1887 his studio operated in the house of Count Tyzenhaus and from 1887 to 1899 it was located at Kotvičo House in 60 Didžioji [Wielka, Большая] Street and later Gleser's House and Kholem Brothers’ House on the same street. It remained in the latter location until at least 1908. Khonovitch was awarded an honorary diploma, a cross and a gold medal at the 1906 international photography exhibition in Antwerp and this is proudly mentioned in the imprint on the back of the studio’s prints from 1906 onwards, as was the custom at the time.

Khonovitch’s son joined the family firm and the two worked together until 1915. It is possible that Khonovitch junior continued the work after his father’s retirement, but nothing is known about him. The studio is known to have existed in 1933, though its location is unknown. Khonovitch [senior or junior] took several photos of ORT school gardens in Vilnius during the 1920s-30s [see images]. The stamp on two of these has the name of the photographer – Khonovitch – alongside an imprint of another well-known Vilnius photographic studio – S. Fleury. It appears that Khonovitch was using mounts by the studio of S. Fleury, who is known to have died in 1915. He may have bought the mounts and added his stamp; or had taken over the studio following the renowned photographer's death. It is documented that Itzhak Khonovitch was still alive in 1926, living at 32 Wielka Street and travelling abroad to visit family.

For more information about Khonovitch see