Karsh Signature

Yousuf Karsh, master photographer of the 20th century



Ongoing news about exhibitions, events, and commercial use of Karsh’s photographs.

Karsh Center at MFA Boston

Karsh considered the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to be his university, studying the artworks there while he apprenticed with John Garo in the 1920s. He would return to the museum throughout his life. Yousuf and Estrellita Karsh have endowed the museum through the work of the Karsh Center, and it holds the archive of Karsh original fine art prints.

The ongoing activities of the Karsh Center encompass: the Karsh Lecture and Symposia; the Karsh Prize; the Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh Chair, Department of Photography; the Curator of Photographs; and Assistant Curator of Photographs; as well as special programs in collaboration with other institutions, such as Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Antioch College.

Other Philanthropic Work

Karsh arrived in Canada in 1925, aged 17, with little to his name. He had dreamed of becoming a doctor and although fortune led him to become a master photographer, he always felt an affinity for the medical profession. He made many portraits of doctors and when in 1962 he photographed Dr. Walter Alvarez, a medical specialist and author, he would meet Estrellita Nachbar, a medical writer, editor, and his wife-to-be. Together, the Karshes would invest in activities that marry the fields of art and medicine, as well as endowing several medical programs. Mrs. Karsh continues this work in their names.