karsh_esquire_cover.jpgWhen Esquire photo director Michael Norseng contacted me about their January 2010 issue, we went over the individual Karsh portraits of the Kennedy brothers; Michael is a fan of Karsh and hoped to use something of his on the cover. The magazine came up with an idea to create a composite image from the three and, along with Michael's personal letter, we presented it to the Estate for their consideration. Happily, rare approval was given, gorgeous scans were sent, and we are all thrilled with the results.

Edward Kennedy 1968, John F. Kennedy 1960, Robert Kennedy 1962 © Yousuf Karsh

Karsh_QEII_Philip_1951.jpgLady GaGa dressed in a sort of Elizabethan-style bright red latex outfit for the Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool last night; she got hoisted 20 feet in the air to play the piano and then went and shook hands with QEII and Prince Philip. Fabulous and priceless. I'm sorry I've got no GaGa so early QEII will have to do.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. 1951 © Yousuf Karsh


There is a new play opening in January 2010 about Muhammad Ali called 'Fetch Clay, Make Man' by Will Power. Karsh photographed Ali in 1970 for 'Look' magazine.

"Muhammad Ali arrived at my New York studio with a breathless young editor trailing behind. They had jogged together from the 'Look' offices, the young editor carrying Ali's heavy portable telephone which Ali said kept him in "constant contact with the world." Since the editor was a slight young man, I smiled to myself as I imagined this improbable duo and the incredulous stares of the passers-by as they made their way up Madison Avenue."

Muhammad Ali, 1970 © Yousuf Karsh

Karsh_Mailer_Norman.jpgThis photograph from Karsh's Norman Mailer sitting caught my eye today. When the Karshes arrived at Mailer's house in Massachusetts, Mailer said "I hope you can spend the evening, I'm planning to cook dinner for you." I don't suppose that happens too often these days.

Norman Mailer, 1974 © Yousuf Karsh

Karsh_Salk_Jonas_1956_02_10.jpgWe were able to locate this image of Jonas Salk. The client originally requesting it had found it on Wikipedia, regrettably marked as being in the public domain. Wikipedia decided to take the image down even though I would have liked them to just make sure it was properly attributed and keep it on the Jonas Salk page. One of Dr. Salk's sons got in touch; also a doctor, even he felt the injection shot was a little discomfiting.

Dr. Jonas Salk, 1956 © Yousuf Karsh


An inquiry came in from a museum requesting permission to use one of Karsh's portraits of Dr. Jonas Salk in display materials. No high-res scan exists of the one they want but this image from the same session demonstrates Salk in action - he discovered and developed the first polio vaccine.

Dr. Jonas Salk, 1956 © Yousuf Karsh

Ickes_Harold_1944.jpgI see that Harold M. Ickes is consulting New York Governor David Paterson - a man with about a 20% approval rating clearly needs the help. Harold M. Ickes was White House Deputy Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton. His father, Harold L. Ickes, was Secretary of the Interior from 1933 to 1946 and served under FDR, implementing much of Roosevelt's 'New Deal'. This photograph was licensed for use in a new book by Ken Burns/Dayton Duncan; you can see a little teeny tiny slideshow of some pages at the Random House website.

Harold L. Ickes, 1944 © Yousuf Karsh

Karsh_Mandela_PSU.jpgThere are more frames than usual from Karsh's Nelson Mandela sitting, several colour as well as a number of b/w. I got a request for one that I don't have a copy of, but this is close and really lovely. It's going to be used by a local university in an educational video for a philosophy class. There are so many great things about working with the Karsh archive, one of which is the sheer joy some people express when they are sent a high-res file and granted a license.

Nelson Mandela, 1990 © Yousuf Karsh

In 1964 Nikita Khrushchev was removed from office. He was replaced by Leonid Brezhnev as First Secretary of the Communist party and by Aleksei Kosygin as Premier.

Nikita Khrushchev, 1963 © Yousuf Karsh

In an effort to keep my visiting parents busy on a cold cloudy day in New York, I've put them to work alphabetizing the Karsh colour transparencies in the archive. My Mum told me the story of how Edmond Safra died - she has incredible recall for such things.

Edmond Safra, 1984 © Yousuf Karsh 

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