Karsh Signature

Yousuf Karsh, master photographer of the 20th century

“The World of Yousuf Karsh”

Portia White, 1946

More press for the exhibition “The World of Yousuf Karsh: A Private Essence” which is showing now through October 16, 2022, at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. In her review for Saltwire, Helen Earley writes: “If I asked you to close your eyes and imagine Albert Einstein, Nelson Mandela, or Mother Theresa, what would you see? Chances are, without realizing it, your mind’s eye would conjure some recollection of a famous portrait taken by Yousuf Karsh (1908-2002), a teenager who arrived at the port of Halifax in 1924 as an Armenian refugee and lived to become one of the world’s most famous portrait photographers.

The “Mona Lisa” of the collection, White’s portrait is smaller than you expect. Bathed in dramatic “low-key” lighting of which Karsh was a master, the famous contralto leans back slightly, her long eyelashes casting shadows across flawless cheeks, her eyes and lips closed, as if in the middle of a deep inhale. As you stand back, you can experience White’s “essence”, captured through the exchange of energy between photographer and subject, recorded through the science of light, paper, and chemicals, and finally, transferred to you, the viewer. It is an intensely intimate experience.” Read the whole article.