"To make a significant photo of someone, you have to know a great deal about them – their accomplishments, station in life or contribution to their fellow man. All this information and observation plays an important part so that the photographer can make a sensitive image. I always read a great deal about the person I’m going to photograph. I imbue myself with their contribution to the world."

Yousuf Karsh was born in Mardin, Armenia, in December 1908. He married Estrellita Nachbar, a medical writer and historian, in 1962. Her professional interests drew him to work with the National Poster Children of the Muscular Dystrophy Association for many years. In 1971, Karsh was awarded the Presidential Citation (U.S.A.) for meritorious service on behalf of the handicapped.

Karsh was honored with honorary degrees from more than two dozen universities. He was appointed Visiting Professor at Ohio University’s School of Fine Arts and at Emerson College. He was awarded the Canada Council Medal in 1965; the Medal of Service of the Order of Canada in 1968; the Medal of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts; Honorary Master of Photographic Arts (Professional Photographers of Canada); and Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain. He was also made a Companion of the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honor. A major collection of his work, “Karsh 100,” was presented at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 2008.

Selected Collections:

Museum of Modern Art, New York

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Art Institute of Chicago

Portrait Gallery of Canada, Ottowa

National Portrait Gallery, London

National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

National Gallery of Australia

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris

Royal Library, Windsor Castle, England