Yousuf Karsh (Armenian, 1908-2002)

A refugee of the Armenian genocide, Karsh emigrated to Canada in 1923. From 1928 to 1931 he apprenticed in Boston under John Garo, a prominent Armenian photographer residing in the US. Karsh opened his first studio in Ottawa in 1932. Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King commissioned him to take portraits of government guests, including Winston Churchill. Karsh would continue photographing famous people throughout his career.

Karsh has been awarded many degrees, including Doctor of Law from Queen’s University in Ontario, Doctor of Fine Arts from the University of Hartford, and Doctor of Humane Letters from Yeshiva University in New York. Karsh’s work resides in many major museums nationally and internationally.