Yousuf Karsh, a tribute to a great photographer

Yousuf Karsh, a tribute to a great photographer


Yousuf Karsh (1908-2002) is one of the masters of 20th century photography.  His body of work includes portraits of statesmen, artists, musicians, authors, scientists, and men and women of accomplishment.  His extraordinary and unique portfolio presents the viewer with an intimate and compassionate view of humanity.

Read his biography in his own words

Self-portrait with negative


Romeo and Juliet, 1933

The Young Lord Duncannon, son of Lord Bessborough, the Governor General, was an enthusiastic fellow-member of the Ottawa Little Theatre. He encouraged Karsh to portray his parents, opening yet another door of opportunity to a young photographer.



Madge MacBeth, 1936

It was a good fortune for Karsh to meet this intelligent, spirited woman early in his Ottawa career. She remained his friend for many decades.



Elixir, 1938

In the 1930s, Karsh enjoyed experimenting with optics and Surrealism.



Karsh spent much of the 1940s building on the success of his Winston Churchill portrait.  In 1952, he accepted a lengthy assignment for Maclean’s magazine to document Canada’s postwar economic development. In the seventeen months it took to complete the undertaking, he made a total of 8,334 negatives.


Calgary Stampede, 1953


Porter at Union Station, 1953



Vancouver at Night, 1952



Stanley Park, 1952