Lot Details

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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Publication: Vanity Fair Magazine, June 2009 edition. Karsh, Yousuf, 1908-2002. Yousuf Karsh : heroes of light and shadow / edited by Dieter Vorsteher and Janet Yates / with texts by Lilly Koltun, Sara Stevenson, Rosemary Donegan, Jill Delaney, Mary Panzer. Toronto ; Niagara Falls (NY) : Stoddart, 2001. Karsh, Yousuf, 1908-2002. Karsh : a sixty-year retrospective / Yousuf Karsh. Boston : Little, Brown, 1996. Karsh, Yousuf, 1908-2002. Karsh : American legends : photographs and commentary / by Yousuf Karsh. Boston : Bullfinch Press, c1992. Karsh, the art of the portrait : essays / by James Borcoman ... [et al.]. Ottawa : National Gallery of Canada, 1989. Karsh : a fifty-year retrospective / Yousuf Karsh. Boston : Little, Brown, c1983. Karsh, Yousuf, 1908-2002. Karsh portraits / Yousuf Karsh. Boston : New York Graphic Society, 1976. Karsh, Yousuf, 1908-2002. Faces of our time. Toronto, Buffalo, University of Toronto Press [1971] Karsh, Yousuf, 1908-2002. In search of greatness; reflections of Yousuf Karsh. New York, Knopf, 1962 Karsh, Yousuf, 1908-2002. Portraits of greatness. [London, New York] T. Nelson [1959] Karsh, Yousuf, 1908-2002. Faces of destiny; portraits by Karsh. Chicago, New York, Ziff-Davis Publishing Company; London, George G. Harrap Co., Ltd. [1946]
The seller has recorded the following condition for this lot:
Area: Margin
Location: Other location
Notes: Three minor creases. No visible breaks in the emulsion.
Degree: Minor
Tears / Punctures / Holes
Area: Verso, Other area
Notes: A very slight scuff on the back which is not visible from front and does not affect the print.
Degree: Minor

Definition Key
Image The central image area, composition, or focal point; the area inside the margins/plate marks.
Margin Areas bordering the central image, outside the plate marks, or the perimeter area.
Edge The farthest edge of the object.
Verso The reverse/back of the object.

Minor An existing condition which generally does not involve risk of loss.
Moderate Noticeable damage, increasing in severity and/or size; should be monitored or corrected by a conservator.
Major Distinct, recognizable damage; the stability of the work is questionable and risk is a factor. Requires the attention of a conservator.
Extreme Advanced and severe damage; work is insecure and at great risk.

  • From Bernard L. Madoff to Eleanor Squillari, his secretary.
  • Ships From: New York, USA
  • Shipping Dimensions: 10 x 8 in. (25.4 x 20.32 cm.)

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