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Yousuf Karsh (Armenian, 1908–2002)
LOT ID: 11680
Bernard L. Madoff, 1988

Silver Print, gelatin silver prints
10 х 8 in. (25.4 x 20.32 cm.)
Unsigned, Stamped on reverse "COPYRIGHT THE FOLLOWING CREDIT LINE MUST BE USED © YOUSUF KARSH" with date "1988" and the number 13 hand written in pencil.
Print/Casting Year 1988
Edition n/a
Lot description
Yousuf Karsh photographed Bernard L. Madoff in a private sitting in 1988. The print for sale is an 8x10 [25,4 x 20,3 cm] silver gelatin print with the Karsh copyright stamp on the back and was most likely made at, or soon after, the time of the sitting. This actual photograph was reproduced in Vanity Fair in the June 2009 edition accompanying an article written by Madoff's secretary of more than 20 years, Eleanor Squillari. Ms Squillari refers to it specifically in the article: "Once, he gave me a picture of him taken by Karsh, the famous Canadian photographer, saying, 'Here, hang this over your bed.'"

We are including a copy of the edition of Vanity Fair in which it was published and an unmarked copy of an alternative image from the same sitting, also by Karsh, also an 8x10 silver print.

Yousuf Karsh (December 23, 1908 – July 13, 2002) was a Canadian photographer of Armenian heritage, and one of the … accomplished portrait photographers of all time. Yousuf or Josuf (his given Armenian name was Hovsep) Karsh was born in Mardin, a city in the eastern Ottoman Empire (currently in Turkey). He grew up during the Armenian Genocide. At the age of 14, he fled with his family to Syria to escape persecution. Two years later, [he was sent] to live with his uncle George Nakash, a photographer in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. Karsh briefly attended school there and assisted in his uncle’s studio. In 1928 Nakash arranged for Karsh to apprentice with portrait photographer John Garo in Boston. Karsh returned to Canada four years later [and] established a studio in the Chateau Laurier Hotel in Ottawa, Ontario, close to Canada’s seat of government. Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King discovered Karsh and arranged introductions with visiting dignitaries for portrait sittings. Karsh's work attracted the attention of varied celebrities, but his place in history was sealed on 30 December, 1941 when he photographed Winston Churchill after Churchill gave a speech to Canadian House of Commons in Ottawa. …The image of Churchill brought Karsh international prominence, and is claimed to be the most reproduced photographic portrait in history. In 1967, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and in 1990 was promoted to Companion. In the late 1990s [Karsh] moved to Boston and on July 13, 2002, [at the age of 93] Karsh died after complications following surgery. He was interred in Notre Dame Cemetery in Ottawa. Journalist George Perry wrote in the British paper The Sunday Times that "when the famous start thinking of immortality, they call for Karsh of Ottawa." His work is in permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, New York's Museum of Modern Art and Metropolitan Museum of Art, George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, Bibliotheque nationale de France, the National Portrait Gallery in London, the National Portrait Gallery of Australia and many others. Library and Archives Canada holds his complete collection, including negatives, prints and documents. His photographic equipment was donated to the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa. Karsh published 15 books of his photographs.(wiki)
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