Karsh


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Charlton Heston, 1956, by Yousuf Karsh

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Charlton Heston's son, Fraser, played the young Moses in the Ten Commandments.

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Yousuf Karsh with Charlton Heston and Cecil B. DeMille, on set, by Malak Karsh.

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Bonus later colour photo of Mr. Heston


Lights, camels, action! 
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Mangosuthu Buthelezi, 1963 by Yousuf Karsh

Yousuf Karsh photographed on the set of the 1964-released movie "Zulu." Future political leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi played Zulu King Cetshwayo kaMpande, his great grandfather. Buthelezi is a South African politician and Zulu tribal leader who founded the Inkatha Freedom Party in 1975 and was Chief Minister of the KwaZulu bantustan until 1994.

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Mr Karsh enjoying a ceremony. 

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Members of Zulu Kingdom watching a movie for the first time.

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Michael Caine, 1963 by Yousuf Karsh.
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American caricaturist Al Hirschfeld photographed in 1990, by Yousuf Karsh

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© Yousuf Karsh
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Hockey player Gordie Howe, 1952 by Yousuf Karsh

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently announced a new crossing over the Detroit River which will connect Windsor, Ontario to Detroit will be named the Gordie Howe International Bridge in honor of the 87-year-old Red Wings legend.
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Billie Jean King © Yousuf Karsh

While looking for the photograph Karsh took of Canadian PM William Lyon Mackenzie King, talking to John Buchan aka Lord Tweedsmuir, US President Roosevelt and his son, I discovered that Karsh had photographed Billie Jean King!

Every day with Karsh is a gift.

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Tweedsmuir, King, Roosevelt, and Roosevelt's son, Elliott, 1936 
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Berenice Abbott, 1989 by Yousuf Karsh

Berenice Abbott was one of my very first photo crushes. A story about her in today's New York Times promoted me to post Mr Karsh's late portrait of her. She is standing in front of one of her scientific images, "Van de Graaff Generator, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1958"

"Berenice Abbott spent two years at MIT creating photographs that memorably document the principles of physical science - mechanics, electromagnetism, and waves. She often developed innovative techniques for capturing scientific phenomena, including one for very detailed, close-in photography that she called Super Sight."
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Portrait of Dr. Harold Edgerton, 1983, by Yousuf Karsh

April 6th would be Dr. Harold Eugene Edgerton's birthday - he would have been 112 today! I figure we all know that as a professor of electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he pretty much invented the strobe. What I didn't know was, according to Wikipedia, "He also was deeply involved with the development of sonar and deep-sea photography, and his equipment was used by Jacques Cousteau in searches for shipwrecks and even the Loch Ness monster."
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Henry Segerstrom by Yousuf Karsh

Henry Thomas Segerstrom died recently, on February 20, 2015. Segerstrom was an American entrepreneur and philanthropist. He was the founding chairman of the Orange County Performing Arts Center, now known as the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Segerstrom is one of Karsh's lesser-known subjects for whom we get regular requests.

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© Yousuf Karsh
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Colonel Harland Sanders, 1972, by Yousuf Karsh

Just dug this portrait of Colonel Harland Sanders out of the Karsh archives. As a vegetarian, it's hard for me to sing his praises. But it's another cracking portrait from Mr. Karsh. A print was recently gifted as part of a major donation to the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. 
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Winston Churchill, 1941 © Yousuf Karsh

There are a lot of events going on around Sir Winston Churchill this year, and we are involved in a few, not least of all the Order of Service for the wreath laying in his honour at the Houses of Parliament on January 30th, which is the 50th anniversary of his State Funeral. Here at the Karsh Estate we are proud to work closely with the Churchill Center and archives, and I thought I'd take this opportunity to publish the Smiling portrait, rather than the Roaring Lion with which we are all so familiar, as this image is being used by the Center and its partners.

For those of you who don't know the story of the Churchill photo shoot, here it is:

"My portrait of Winston Churchill changed my life. I knew after I had taken it that it was an important picture, but I could hardly have dreamed that it would become one of the most widely reproduced images in the history of photography. In 1941, Churchill visited first Washington and then Ottawa. The Prime Minister, Mackenzie King, invited me to be present. After the electrifying speech, I waited in the Speaker's Chamber where, the evening before, I had set up my lights and camera. 

The Prime Minister, arm-in-arm with Churchill and followed by his entourage, started to lead him into the room. I switched on my floodlights; a surprised Churchill growled, "What's this, what's this?" No one had the courage to explain. I timorously stepped forward and said, "Sir, I hope I will be fortunate enough to make a portrait worthy of this historic occasion." He glanced at me and demanded, "Why was I not told?" When his entourage began to laugh, this hardly helped matters for me. Churchill lit a fresh cigar, puffed at it with a mischievous air, and then magnanimously relented. "You may take one." Churchill's cigar was ever present. I held out an ashtray, but he would not dispose of it. I went back to my camera and made sure that everything was all right technically. I waited; he continued to chomp vigorously at his cigar. I waited. Then I stepped toward him and, without premeditation, but ever so respectfully, I said, "Forgive me, sir," and plucked the cigar out of his mouth. By the time I got back to my camera, he looked so belligerent he could have devoured me. It was at that instant that I took the photograph." - Yousuf Karsh, 1908 - 2002.
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