Karsh Signature

Yousuf Karsh, master photographer of the 20th century

Yousuf Karsh and Edward Steichen: The Art of the Celebrity Portrait

McCord Museum, Montreal, Canada, 2011

This exhibition of thirty-five prints from the collection shows the remarkable skills of two of the twentieth century's greatest portrait photographers. A relationship was established between the two photographers in 1936 when Yousuf Karsh paid his first visit to Edward Steichen's New York studio.

Working with a clientele composed of individuals celebrated for their power, wealth, or talent, both Steichen and Karsh displayed an ability to engage with their sitters on equal terms and to capture their characters without compromising their standards of artistic integrity or standards of formal excellence. Although the young Karsh clearly learned a great deal about celebrity portraiture from Steichen, a photographer whose work he studied from the days of his apprenticeship in photography, he also developed a unique portrait style that makes his work so readily recognizable to us today.

Curated by Ann Thomas, Curator, Photographs, Yousuf Karsh and Edward Steichen: The Art of the Celebrity Portrait, illustrates both the connection and the distinctiveness between the two celebrity portraitists.