The DAI continues its run of special exhibitions in 2018 with famous portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh. Even if one has never heard of Karsh they’ve likely seen his work. Karsh captured famous portraits of many of the 20th centuries most notable men and women in the realms of medicine, business, entertainment, politics and the arts. Karsh took portraits of many international figures, but his American portraits are often considered his best. 48 black and white portraits make up the exhibition, they are on loan from the National Portrait Gallery’s collection.
Karsh was an Armenian Genocide survivor and migrated to Canada as a refugee. By the 1930’s Karsh was a well-known photographer in Ottawa. Though he traveled all over the world for his work, Ottawa remained his home.
While it is true his American portraits were considered his best, it was his 1941 photo of Churchill that was the break out for his career. Karsh’s portfolio also included over 20 cover photos for Life magazine.
The exhibition at DAI include portraits of Ernest Hemingway, Georgia O’Keeffe, Andy Warhol, Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robison, Elizabeth Arden, Warren Buffet, Frank Lloyd Writing, I.M. Pei, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Eleanor Roosevelt, Walt Disney and Jim Henson.