Posts Tagged ‘Portrait photographer’


In addition to seeing the Shay locomotive, we visited the Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa to visit the Karsh exhibit, Festival Karsh. The exhibit celebrates the life and work of Canada’s most famous photographer, Yousuf Karsh, on the 100th anniversary of his birth. Born in Marden, Turkey on December 23, 1908, Karsh fled to Syria with his Armenian-descent family in 1922 and in 1924, he emigrated to Canada. He apprenticed with a photographer in Boston and ended his career many years later as one of the world’s leading portrait photographers. It could be said that anybody who was anyone sat for Karsh. One of his most iconic works, used on the cover of Life and Saturday Night magazines, was his portrait of Winston Churchill.


The exhibit features an interesting display of many of his better know works, portraits of famous men and women such as Grey Owl, above, and Einstein, below.


Some of the equipment Karsh utilized is on display. Karsh set up a studio on Sparks Street in Ottawa, where his business thrived. He also had equipment that travelled with him as he journeyed abroad to accommodate famous sitters who couldn’t arrange to come to his Ottawa studio.


Karsh retired in 1992. Over six decades of work, he photographed more than 15,000 local, national and international sitters. He died on July 13, 2002, at the age of 93.


One playful aspect of the exhibit is a mock studio that allows visitors to try their hand at portrait photography, adjusting the lighting and camera focus to photograph a friend and email the resulting portrait to their chosen address. A young woman volunteered to take our photograph.


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