02_Karsh_Tattoo.jpg Like a cat bringing a mouse to its owner, a tattooist in England reported this rendering of a self-portrait by Mr. Karsh to our curator. The gentleman doesn't know quite how he found the image, nor did he know who it was until recently, but had "managed to convince one of my friends to have the portrait"... we don't know where. The big joke among my Karsh colleagues is how I plan to handle this copyright infringement.


Karsh_Smallwood_Joseph_1949.jpgI love to publish Karsh in my blog but hate to bore anyone by over-doing it. So I publish when something presents itself. In a classic Karsh pose, this is Joseph Roberts "Joey" Smallwood, a controversial character who was ultimately responsible for bringing Newfoundland into the Canadian confederation in 1948, becoming its first premiere* in 1949, the same year in which he was Karshed.


Joseph Smallwood, 1949 © Yousuf Karsh

Karsh_Marian_Beamish.jpgLife at the Karsh archive is always fascinating, entertaining and enlightening. I was contacted recently by a woman who shared the story of her mother's sitting with Mr. Karsh.

"It would have been late '30's, early '40's - from his Sparks St. Mall studio. She used to tell us this great story about it. She had booked the appointment and it was pouring rain out, so she wore a raincoat with a hood to protect her hairdo. When she walked in, Karsh stopped her and said, "Don't move! I'm going to take your photo just like that!" But she had saved up all her money for a professional portrait, so she pooh-poohed that idea and took the raincoat off. The portrait is lovely, but she regretted her haste in later years, and thought it would have made a really interesting photograph with the raindrops glistening on her hood."

Marian Beamish by Yousuf Karsh. Thanks to Mary Pal for sharing her story.

Karsh_Kennedy_Jackie_1957.jpgI first heard about the impending release of the Jackie Kennedy tapes a few weeks ago when a tabloid called looking for Karsh photographs to illustrate an article. I declined and forgot about it until the tapes started to hit the news and I found myself listening agog.

Yousuf Karsh photographed Mrs Kennedy in 1957, and here is his story:

"Widowhood and adversity had not yet touched the glamorous young wife of the handsome Senator from Massachusetts. Our meeting was at Hammersmith, her mother's home in Newport. I photographed her against a Coromandel screen that complemented her dark beauty. Weeks later, in New York, she saw me walking down Fifth Avenue and rushed toward me to inquire breathlessly about her photographs. Our last meeting was shortly before her untimely death, when she came to my exhibition 'American Legends.' She stood alone at the entrance, her quiet presence penetrating the crowd."

Jacqueline Kennedy, 1957 © Yousuf Karsh


Senator Barry Goldwater, 1963 © Yousuf Karsh

Out of the corner of the eye I keep on Twitter I noticed my photo-network-pal Pete Brook mention Barry Goldwater. I followed his link through to The Photo Exchange and from there to the Barry Goldwater Photographs website; he was an avid and talented photographer, and all of Goldwater's four children spent time in his darkroom during their childhood.

The senator's estate published a book, "The Eyes of His Soul, The Visual Legacy of Barry M. Goldwater, Master Photographer (2003)" and on its web page Goldwater's son, Michael, writes "Famed photographer Yousuf Karsh, on assignment for Life Magazine, arrived at our home in Phoenix during the 1964 presidential campaign and spent three days surveying sites and checking the light without clicking the shutter once until the last day. The photographs were beautiful. Dad told me later that I had just learned an important lesson from a Master Photographer that he greatly admired."

Karsh_Gabor_ZsaZsa.jpgaCurator just wanted to post something glamorous after a strange weekend.

Zsa Zsa Gabor © Yousuf Karsh

Karsh_Gable-Clark-1948.jpgHere in New York we're battening down the hatches in advance of Hurricane Irene. I spent a while trying to think of a Karsh photograph to tie in and this is the best I could do!

Clark Gable, 1948 © Yousuf Karsh


As much as Jim Henson and the Muppets were a major part of childhood, it's Peanuts for which I feel the most love. Snoopy and Woodstock featured heavily in my childhood and I often think about Snoopy's happy dance when I'm feeling like celebrating.

A portrait of Charles Schultz was donated by Mrs Karsh to the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery last year and is the Gallery's first image of the cartoonist.

Charles Schultz, 1988 © Yousuf Karsh

New York's Museum of the Moving Image is the current venue for 'Jim Henson's Fantastic World', a traveling exhibition by the Smithsonian Institution. "The exhibition spans Henson's entire career, with drawings, cartoons, and posters produced during his college years in the late 1950s and objects related to the inspired imaginary world of his popular 1982 fantasy film, The Dark Crystal. The exhibition features artifacts from Henson's best-known projects, The Muppet Show, The Muppet Movie and its sequels, Fraggle Rock, and Sesame Street, in addition to materials from Sam and Friends, an early show he created in the 1950s, and his pioneering television commercial work in the 1960s."
Miss Piggy, Kermit and Bert and Ernie are all there as well! Let's go!

Jim Henson © Yousuf Karsh

I'm pretty excited to update this post with the OK Go cover of the Muppet Theme Show.

karsh_edward_simpson.jpgListening to NPR this morning and they mentioned Edward and Mrs Simpson. A new TV program 'l Wallis Simpson: The Secret Letters' is set to broadcast next week in the UK. The Scotsman online ever-so eloquently writes "Wallis Simpson, the woman for whom Edward VIII abdicated the throne, may still have been in love with her husband, unseen letters have shown."

It's an excuse to re-post this image and story:

I got an inquiry from someone who was on their cell phone in a supermarket. I could have sworn he asked about pictures of Henry VIII. It took a while to work out he was talking about some guy who taught the Duke of Windsor to play golf. He hung up on me after accusing me of trying to hold his project hostage with my licensing fees.

Edward, Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson, 1971 © Yousuf Karsh

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