Karsh Signature

Yousuf Karsh, master photographer of the 20th century

Karsh: Image Maker

Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, 2010

Karsh: Image Maker exhibition showcases famous portraits and explores work behind the scenes.

The exhibition showcases portraits of notable and lesser-known figures – Andy Warhol, Nelson Mandela, Marshall McLuhan, Benazir Bhutto – while exploring the work behind the scenes. While Karsh described his photographs as simply capturing an elusive “moment of truth” , his signature style was the result of meticulous artistic and technical decisions.

‘Rather than passive appreciation, the exhibition promotes active inquiry into how Karsh developed both his portrait style and his public reputation by examining his techniques and tools and by considering the stories that he told about his subjects and himself,’ wrote Bryan Dewalt and Melissa Rombout, co-curators of the exhibition.

Karsh: Image Maker offers visitors an opportunity to:
• Explore portraits of the twentieth century’s leading politicians, actors, writers and artists
• Learn about Karsh’s formative years as displaced refugee, eager apprentice, and striving entrepreneur.
• Discover the tools Karsh used to craft his images: cameras, darkroom tools, brushes and dyes
• Make a portrait in the interactive studio
• See how your own reaction helps to make a Karsh portrait meaningful.

Karsh: Image Maker is organized and circulated by the Canada Science and Technology Museum and the Portrait Gallery of Canada, a program of Library and Archives Canada.