The Art Lab will be temporarily closed, May 20 - 24, 2019, as we prepare for our summer exhibition, Framed: Step Into Art. See you soon!

Yousuf Karsh: American Portraits

On loan from the National Portrait Gallery 

On view: February 8 – May 5, 2019
Opening reception: 
Friday, February 8, 2019

Which Karsh subject do you most identity with?
Take the Karsh Quiz to find out!

During a career that spanned six decades, photographer Yousuf Karsh (1908–2002) created iconic portraits of many of the twentieth century’s most influential men and women—individuals who distinguished themselves in fields as diverse as business, medicine, entertainment, politics, and the arts.

This exhibition includes 48 iconic portraits, including photographs of Georgia O’Keeffe, Jonas Salk, Marian Anderson, Elizabeth Arden, I.M. Pei, Helen Keller, Andy Warhol, Muhammad Ali, and first ladies Eleanor Roosevelt and Jacqueline Kennedy.

Karsh believed that “the heart and the mind are the true lens of the camera,” and he developed a genuine rapport with his subjects to fashion evocative and revealing portraits.

Image not available

Martin Luther King, Jr.

by Yousuf Karsh
Gelatin silver print
1962
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Estrellita Karsh in memory of Yousuf Karsh
© 1962 Estate of Yousuf Karsh

Image not available

Albert Einstein

by Yousuf Karsh
Gelatin silver print
1948
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Estrellita Karsh in memory of Yousuf Karsh
© Estate of Yousuf Karsh

Image not available

Georgia O'Keefe

by Yousuf Karsh
Gelatin silver print
1956
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Estrellita Karsh in memory of Yousuf Karsh
© Estate of Yousuf Karsh

Image not available

Andy Warhol

by Yousuf Karsh
Gelatin silver print
1979
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Estrellita Karsh in memory of Yousuf Karsh
© Estate of Yousuf Karsh

Image not available

Grace Kelly

by Yousuf Karsh
Gelatin silver print
1956
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Estrellita Karsh in memory of Yousuf Karsh
© Estate of Yousuf Karsh

A refugee from his native Armenia, Karsh immigrated to Canada in 1925. His uncle was a professional photographer who, in 1928, facilitated Karsh’s apprenticeship with the renowned Boston portrait photographer John H. Garo. By the time Karsh returned to Canada in 1931, he had “set [his] heart on photographing those men and women who leave their mark on the world,” and two years later, he opened a portrait studio in Ottawa. The phenomenal success of his 1941 portrait of Winston Churchill, included in this exhibition, launched Karsh’s career. Thereafter, he traveled the world fulfilling portrait commissions and editorial assignments.

This exhibition has been organized by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C. This exhibition is made possible in part by Creagent Marketing.

 

 

 

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