Thursday 2 January 2014

Yousuf Karsh: Renowned Portrait Photographer

Pope Pius XII. Albert Einstein. Winston Churchill. Ernest Hemingway. Fidel Castro. Audrey Hepburn. Queen Elizabeth II. The Marx Brothers. Marshall McLuhan. James Cardinal McGuigan. G. Emmett Cardinal Carter.

What do these people have in common? They are only a few of the subjects of prolific photographer Yousuf Karsh.

Born in Armenia in 1908, Karsh was brought to Canada by his uncle in 1924 and apprenticed with portraitist John H. Garo in Boston from 1928-1931. Karsh set up his own shop in Ottawa in 1931, and achieved international success in 1941 when his portrait of Winston Churchill was featured on the cover of Life Magazine.

Over his five-decade career, Karsh photographed many important and influential people. His work has been featured in many books and exhibits, and he received many industry, academic, and national awards. He passed away in 2002.

Cardinal McGuigan and Cardinal Carter were lucky enough to be captured by Karsh's artistic vision:

Photographic portrait of James C. Cardinal McGuigan taken by Yousuf Karsh in a left side profile pose and kneeling in prayer in front of a framed tapestry of the Madonna and Child.  He is wearing a cappa magna with a fur stole and a zucchetto, and is holding a biretta.
Photographic portrait of James C. Cardinal McGuigan by Yousuf Karsh in a standing pose, wearing episcopal dress, zucchetto, and cappa magna and  is holding his biretta in his right hand.  

Photographic portrait of G. Emmett Cardinal Carter by Yousuf Karsh in Archbishop's choir dress before he was created Cardinal.

Photographic portrait of G. Emmett Cardinal Carter taken by Yousuf Karsh, in a seated, side view pose, facing the camera.  The photograph was taken in St. Michael's Cathedral, Toronto, ON

Please visit the Yousuf Karsh official website for more information.
Check the Library and Archives Canada website for information about their extensive Karsh holdings.

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