You may not recognize Karsh in a photo but you would immediately recognize the distinctive silver gelatin prints that captured some of the most significant figures of the 20th century. Who doesn't know the famous portrait of Winston Churchill that made the cover of LIFE magazine? Perhaps the most copied photo of all of Sir Winston's. It was taken during a visit to Canada in 1941; the Canadian prime minister suggested that Winston have his photo taken. He gave Karsh two minutes.
Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Andy Warhol, Le Corbusier, Jacqueline Kennedy, Ernest Hemingway. You would recognize these portraits immediately as they have somehow engraved in our memories a look which we will never forget. Like Cartier-Bresson's decisive moment, Karsh knew how to draw the soul of the sitter through his lens in that critical instant.
When a list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century was published it was determined that Yousof Karsh had photographed 51.
See it if you can...
Mona Bismarck American Center
Now thru Jan 26, 2014