Karsh Signature

Yousuf Karsh, master photographer of the 20th century

Karsh: Image Maker

Canada Science and Technology Museum with the Portrait Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 2009

Featuring portraits, archival materials and artifacts from all periods of his career, Karsh: Image Maker explores new approaches to Yousuf Karsh’s work. 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. His photographs participate in the stories of people’s lives, of history, of the mass media, of nations and most profoundly, of Yousuf Karsh himself.

Karsh: Image Maker features celebrated and lesser known portraits, personal and business papers, published books and magazines, and studio and darkroom equipment. Many of these artifacts have never been seen before in a public exhibition. Karsh: Image Maker also breaks new ground by reaching out to a broad, multigenerational audience with interactive elements that introduce Karsh to a new and receptive public.

- Explore portraits of the twentieth century’s leading figures, from politicians and actors to 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, an impressive floor-to-ceiling enlarger, brushes and dyes.

The exhibition is a collaboration between the Canada Science and Technology Museum and the Portrait Gallery of Canada, a program of Library and Archives Canada.