Yousuf Karsh  (Canadian, 1908-2002) 

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Yousuf Karsh (Canadian, 1908–2002) was a photographer best known for his portraits of famous actors, politicians, and cultural figures. He studied with portrait photographer John Garo before opening his own studio in Ottawa, Canada in 1932. Karsh began photographing portraits of dignitaries who were visiting Canada’s seat of government near the studio. His photograph of Winston Churchill—which appeared on the cover of LIFE magazine in 1941—established Karsh’s reputation, and he was commissioned to take portraits of political and military leaders during World War II. The most distinctive feature of Karsh’s photographs is the dramatic lighting and simplicity of his compositions, giving them the effect of timelessness. His sitters included actors, such as Humphrey Bogart, Grace Kelly, and Audrey Hepburn, and artists such as Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973) and Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986). Karsh published 15 books of photographs with descriptions of conversations he had with the sitters. In 1967, he became an Officer of the Order of Canada. His work is currently held in several important collections, such as the Library and Archives of Canada, the National Portrait Gallery in London, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

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Artworks for sale (30)

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Yousuf Karsh, Winston Churchill

 

Yousuf Karsh
Winston Churchill
1941

Auction: Apr 24, 2014
Heffel Fine Art Auction House
View Details | entire auction
Yousuf Karsh, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

 

Yousuf Karsh
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Auction: Apr 24, 2014
Heffel Fine Art Auction House
View Details | entire auction
Yousuf Karsh, Georgia O'Keeffe

 

Yousuf Karsh
Georgia O'Keeffe
1956

Auction: Apr 24, 2014
Heffel Fine Art Auction House
View Details | entire auction
Yousuf Karsh, George Bernard Shaw

 

Yousuf Karsh
George Bernard Shaw
1941

Auction: Apr 24, 2014
Heffel Fine Art Auction House
View Details | entire auction
Yousuf Karsh, Andy Warhol

 

Yousuf Karsh
Andy Warhol
1979

Auction: Apr 24, 2014
Heffel Fine Art Auction House
View Details | entire auction
Yousuf Karsh, Ernest Hemingway

 

Yousuf Karsh
Ernest Hemingway
1957

Robert Koch Gallery
Yousuf Karsh, Albert Einstein

 

Yousuf Karsh
Albert Einstein
1948

Robert Koch Gallery
Yousuf Karsh, Georgia O'Keeffe

 

Yousuf Karsh
Georgia O'Keeffe
1957

Robert Koch Gallery
Yousuf Karsh, Elixir

 

Yousuf Karsh
Elixir
Weston Gallery, Inc.
Past auction results (792)  View All
Yousuf Karsh, Winston Churchill

 

Yousuf Karsh
Winston Churchill, 1941
silver print, mntd

 

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Yousuf Karsh, Ernest Hemingway

 

Yousuf Karsh
Ernest Hemingway
photograph

 

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Yousuf Karsh, Albert Einstein

 

Yousuf Karsh
Albert Einstein, 1948
gelatin silver print, mntd

 

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1908   Born in Mardin, Armenia.
1925   Arrived in Canada from Syria.
1926   Went to work for his Uncle Nakash at his studio, leaving behind his original desire to study medicine.

Starts apprenticeship with John H. Garo of Boston.
1931   Leaves Boston and opens his studio in Ottawa.
1941   Learns lighting at Ottawa Little Theatre and photographs Winston Churchill.
1992   Closed studio.
1997   Retires to Boston, MA.
2002   Dies in Boston at age 93.
2010   Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ

Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland
2009   The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

Scott Nichols Gallery, San Francisco, CA

G. Gibson Gallery, Seattle, WA
2006   Weston Gallery, Carmel, CA (solo)
2004   Tom Blau Gallery, London, England (solo)
2004   Queens Museum of Art, Queens, NY

Camera Work, Berlin, Germany
1991   National Portrait Gallery, London, England
1989   National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
1983   International Center of Photography, New York, NY
1967   Montreal World's Fair

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
1952   Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Charles Francis Press Gallery, New York, NY (traveled)
1938   T. Eaton Company, Toronto

Chateau Laurier Hotel, Ottawa