The McMaster Museum of Art

    KARSH, Yousuf
    Date: Canadian, 1908-2002
    Yousuf Karsh (1908 - 2002) grew up in Turkish Armenia under the horrors of the Armenian massacres. In 1924 he was brought to safety in Sherbrooke, Quebec, by his uncle, George Nakash, a prominent Canadian photographer. In 1929 Karsh began an apprenticeship in Boston with the influential and gifted New England photographer, John H. Garo. He returned to Canada in 1931 and opened his own studio in the nation’s capitol a year later. Early in his career, Karsh was befriended by Prime Minister Mackenzie King who arranged for him to take the famous portrait of Winston Churchill in 1941, which is still among most recognized and reproduced images in the history of photography.
    It was then that he became known around the world as Karsh of Ottawa, a name that would be associated with his iconic portraits of such subjects as Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, H.R.H. Queen Elizabeth II, John F. Kennedy, Pablo Casals, Pierre Trudeau, Princess Grace of Monaco, Walt Disney, Andy Warhol, Mother Theresa, and Nelson Mandela. In the International Who's Who of 2000, which listed the most influential people of the 20th Century, Karsh was the only Canadian of the 100 distinguished individuals chosen - 51 of whom Karsh had photographed during his extraordinary six decade career.

    Source: Courtesy of
    © Yousuf Karsh