Karsh


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Betty Low, 1936 by Yousuf Karsh

Sad news from my Karsh colleagues is that dancer, actress, early Karsh subject and friend Betty Low has died. Betty performed with the Colonel de Basil's Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo as Ludmila Lvova, before appearing in several films, including "84 Charing Cross Road." This portrait was made in 1936 when Karsh, ever the improviser, took down the nets from the window and used them to make this beautiful photograph. I was fortunate to meet Ms. Low many years later in Washington, DC, as the National Portrait Gallery celebrated Mrs Karsh's donation of 100 original Karsh fine art photographs. She was as poised and beautiful as ever. 

Here is Ms. Low in "The Lesson" with Solange Gauthier Karsh, Mr. Karsh's first wife.  You can read more about Ms. Low's life over at the Ballets-Russes.

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The Lesson, 1940, Betty Low and Solange Gauthier, by Yousuf Karsh

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Yul Brynner, 1956 by Yousuf Karsh

There are several frames of Yul Brynner in the Karsh digital archives but this is my favourite! 

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Betty Ford, 1977 © Yousuf Karsh

Just because... here's Betty! Karsh photographed her and Gerald Ford, one of 12 US Presidents immortalized by Karsh, in 1977.

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President Gerald Ford, 1977 © Yousuf Karsh

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Judy Garland, 1946 by Yousuf Karsh

This beautiful portrait of Judy Garland by Yousuf Karsh is from 1946, a year in which he photographed many actors including Lionel Barrymore, Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, Joseph Cotten, Sidney Greenstreet, Boris Karloff, Angela Lansbury, Peter Lorre, Gregory Peck, Elizabeth Taylor, and many more.

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Sir Alexander Fleming, 1954 by Yousuf Karsh

We have Alexander Fleming!  Dr. Fleming was a Scottish biologist, pharmacologist and botanist. His best-known discoveries are the enzyme lysozyme in 1923 and the antibiotic substance benzylpenicillin (Penicillin G) from the mould Penicillium notatum in 1928, for which he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945 with Howard Florey and Ernst Boris Chain.

Thanks, Doc.

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Earl of Athlone, 1946 by Yousuf Karsh 

Another random image from my Karsh archives.... Here is the Earl of Athlone in a gorgeous portrait from 1946.

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Joan Collins, 1956 © Yousuf Karsh

How sad I am reading about Joan's political proclivities, but we can enjoy this gorgeous portrait from 1956, aged just 23, and not least of all, let's appreciate the outfit. The photo was taken the same year Joan starred in "The Opposite Sex," based on a play by Clare Boothe Luce.

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Clare Boothe Luce, 1954 by Yousuf Karsh

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David Sarnoff, 1946 by Yousuf Karsh

Another cracking portrait by Mr. Karsh, which is not done any justice here in such a small size but is spectacular blown up!  

"Throughout most of his career he led the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in various capacities from shortly after its founding in 1919 until his retirement in 1970."

Detail - what is this he is holding? 

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Albert Einstein, 1948 by Yousuf Karsh

It is the 100th anniversary of Einstein's Theory of General Relativity. Yousuf Karsh photographed Einstein at Princeton in 1948.

"At Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study, I found Einstein a simple, kindly, almost childlike man, too great for any of the postures of eminence. One did not have to understand his science to feel the power of his mind or the force of his personality. He spoke sadly, yet serenely, as one who had looked into the universe, far past mankind's small affairs. When I asked him what the world would be like were another atomic bomb to be dropped, he replied wearily, "Alas, we will no longer be able to hear the music of Mozart.""

The lovely Herman Leonard assisted Mr. Karsh on this photo shoot! Herman became one of the greatest jazz photographers of all time.

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Albert Einstein, 1948 by Yousuf Karsh

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Pierre Trudeau, 1968 by Yousuf Karsh

Pierre Elliott Trudeau, was the 15th Prime Minister of Canada from April 20, 1968, to June 4, 1979, and again from March 3, 1980, to June 30, 1984. Karsh photographed him during both his tenures. His son, Justin Trudeau, was just elected PM this week. 

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Pierre Trudeau, 1982 by Yousuf Karsh

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