“The legacy of Yousuf Karsh—the man behind the lens of some of the 20th century’s most famous photographic portraits—is illuminated.” —artdaily.org
In celebration of the 100th birthday of renowned photographer Yousuf Karsh (1908–2002), the MFA hosts an exhibition of the great portraitist’s work, offering a visual biography of this twentieth-century legend. Born in Armenia, settling first in Canada and eventually in the United States, Karsh made a career photographing the world’s most distinguished statesmen, artists, literary figures, musicians, scientists, actors, and actresses. Traveling the globe, he gained access to virtually every great figure of his time. Among his most famous iconic images are ones he made of Winston Churchill (1941), Albert Einstein (1948), Pablo Picasso (1954), Georgia O’Keeffe (1956), Ernest Hemingway (1957), Jacqueline Kennedy (1957), Sophia Loren (1981), and Jessye Norman (1990).
This exhibition explores the eminent photographer’s celebrated work alongside his lesser-known images. Included are photographs from his early years as he was developing his photographic style as well as work made, after he became widely known, on assignment in the 1950s—views of Canada for Maclean’s magazine, images of industry for Ford of Canada and Atlas Steel. Archival material revealing Karsh’s personality, his approach to his work, and the friendships he forged with sitters also is included, as well as his large format camera.
View a slideshow of selected images from the exhibition, accompanied by Karsh’s notes about each photograph.
For more information on the artist and his work, please visit karsh.org
Watch a video interview with Mrs. Estrellita Karsh, the photographer’s widow, as she discusses his life and work.