You Should Know….Yousuf Karsh

After immigrating to Canada from Armenia at age seventeen, Yousuf Karsh became one of the world’s most accomplished portrait photographers. His subjects include everyone from Fidel Castro to Queen Elizabeth II, Audrey Hepburn to Pope John Paul II.

You Should Know...Yousef Karsh

The Big Deal:

Karsh photographed the most respected and recognized personalities of the 20th century.

Life In Brief:

Born in Armenia in 1908, Yousuf Karsh is sent to Canada to live with his uncle, who happens to be a photographer. Seeing potential in his nephew, Uncle Nakash arranges for an internship with Boston photographer John H. Garo. While in Boston, Karsh attends evening art school and learns about composition, design, and lighting.

Moving to Ottawa in 1931, Karsh opens his own studio with the hopes of photographing dignitaries and international visitors. His iconic portrait of Winston Churchill in 1941 launches his thirty-year career internationally.

For More:


  1. I was recently grounded at Dana Farber for a few days while my mother’s eight year battle with cancer came to an end. I happened to come across the Yousuf Karsh collection one day and was profoundly moved by his work. I was completely mesmerized, and returned many times after that as it gave me great comfort and peace. Truly exquisite, timeless photographs.
    I extend my gratitude to his beautiful wife, who was kind enough to share the collection with the world.


Comments are closed.