Saturday, August 21, 2010

Portrait Photography by Yousuf Karsh

Yousuf Karsh 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.

Yousuf or Josuf Karsh was born in Mardin, a city in the eastern Ottoman Empire. He grew up during the Armenian Genocide where he wrote, "I saw relatives massacred; my sister died of starvation as we were driven from village to village." At the age of 14, he fled with his family to Syria to escape persecution. Two years later, his parents sent Yousuf to live with his uncle George Nakash, a photographer in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. Karsh briefly attended school there and assisted in his uncle’s studio. Nakash saw great potential in his nephew and in 1928 arranged for Karsh to apprentice with portrait photographer John Garo in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. His brother, Malak Karsh, was also a photographer famous for the image of logs floating down the river on the Canadian one dollar bill.

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