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
The Lesson, 1940, Betty Low and Solange Gauthier, by Yousuf Karsh
What a gorgeous portrait of Ray Tomlinson by the lovely Henry Horenstein
. Ray Tomlinson died last week. He created the first email system and has us all using the @ sign. Big up, Mr. Tomlinson!
In the book "Regarding Heroes
" Karsh said of his 1956 session with Anita Ekberg, "The smorgasbord was already lavishly spread on the table of Anita Ekberg's California home when I arrived. Her natural behavior resembled the love goddesses she portrayed - uninhibited and seductive, and totally without guile. When changing from one gown to another, she ignored the screen her attendant had place before her. She exuded sexuality; in the garden, as she exuberantly hugged a tree trunk, it became a gesture of utmost sensuality."
© Yousuf Karsh
Here she is, looking as if butter wouldn't melt. Bye, Maggie. Mandela outlived you, which is very satisfying. Rest in all the peace you deserve...
How's about this classic colour photograph of author and publisher Helen Gurley Brown taken in 1992 at the very end of Karsh's commercial career. As one of our clients said, "very 'Dallas'!" Helen Gurley Brown © Yousuf Karsh
Ray Bradbury died today at the ripe old age of 91. Here he is photographed by Yousuf Karsh
in 1990 when he was still a whippersnapper.Ray Bradbury, 1990 © Yousuf Karsh
The one and only Betty Ford, 1918 - 2011
Joanna Steichen met Edward through Carl Sandburg in 1959 and Yousuf Karsh photographed them at their home in Connecticut in 1965. When they married, she was 27, he was 80. She died last month, at home in Montauk.Edward and Joanna Steichen, 1965 © Yousuf Karsh
had a breath-taking life, from his early days assisting Yousuf Karsh to his years spent in Paris photographing fashion to his nights in Harlem photographing jazz legends, and on throughout the years. I interviewed him for ZOOZOOM
about his fashion work, and felt lucky to be able to also chat with him about the famous sitting with Albert Einstein on which he assisted Karsh in 1948. I didn't meet Herman until he was well into his 80's but he behaved like a young man, enthusiastic about photography, forward-looking and creative with his archive. His prints
left damaged by Hurricane Katrina make for moving viewing.
"Quincy Jones once said, 'I used to tell cats that Herman Leonard did with his camera what we did with our instruments. Looking back across his career, I'm even more certain of the comparison: Herman's camera tells the truth, and makes it swing. Musicians loved to see him around. No surprise; he made us look good.'"Herman Leonard, 1923 - 2010 © Yousuf Karsh
John Wooden was an American basketball coach. He was a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player (class of 1961) and as a coach (class of 1973) and was the first person ever enshrined in both categories. Wooden died of natural causes aged 99 on June 4th, 2010.John Wooden © Yousuf Karsh