Karsh Signature

Yousuf Karsh, master photographer of the 20th century

The Karsh Award

Yousuf Karsh with his brother Malak Karsh, Ottawa, 1940s

Ottawa City Council established the Karsh Award in 2003 to honor the enduring legacy of Yousuf and his photographer brother Malak Karsh. Every four years, a prize is presented to a mid-career local Ottawa artist for their outstanding body of work and significant contribution to the artistic discipline in a photo/lens-based medium. The laureate is also invited to hold an exhibition of their work at the Karsh-Masson Gallery, located in Ottawa’s City Hall.

The 2023 recipient is photo-based artist Christine Fitzgerald. Inspired by early photographic techniques, Fitzgerald’s studies of specimens consider natural history collections from the perspective of our present moment of ecological precariousness. This exploration of extinction, impermanence and loss draws largely from the artist’s research during her 2023 residencies at the Canadian Museum of Nature and the Natural History Museum (Tring, UK). Her exhibition, Requiem, is on view May 9 to July 21, 2024.