Yousuf Karsh: A Master of 20th Century Photography

Yousuf Karsh,

Audrey Hepburn, Photograph, 1956


“There is a brief moment when all there is in a man’s mind and soul and spirit is reflected through his eyes, his hands, his attitude.  This is the moment to record.”

~Yousuf Karsh (1908-2002)


Last week, Farmguy and I spent a few days in Las Vegas as it was the destination for his company’s national conference.  While there, we visited an art exhibit at the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art on loan from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Yousuf Karsh:  Icons of  the Twentieth Century.

Yousuf Karsh was an Armenian-Canadian photographer.  He has been called one of the great portrait photographers of the 20th century by TIME magazine and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Known for his professionalism, extensive research of his subjects, and congenial personality, Karsh consistently achieved an ease between himself and the subjects of his portraits that enabled him to capture an intimate and compassionate view of their humanity.  Yousuf Karsh also employed his artistic as well as technical talents, including his knowledge of theatrical lighting and lighting subjects’ hands separately to achieve an extraordinary and unique portfolio.  This beautiful and moving exhibit of portraits, including those of statesmen, artists, musicians, authors, scientists, and men and women of accomplishment is truly worth seeing.  My favorite portraits include those of Winston Churchill, Georgia O’Keeffe, Helen Keller (& Polly Thompson), Audrey Hepburn, and Mother Teresa.

I hope you will take a minute to enjoy these iconic portraits by Yousuf Karsh.  When you click on an individual portrait, an interesting summary of the photograph is available.  Be sure to read the summary on Winston Churchill’s portrait. 🙂


  1. How wonderful to have been to this exhibition – I’m very happy that you shared the experience and the link to these superb portraits. I did take a happy few minutes reading the vignettes Yousuf Karsh had written about each and it was time well spent. Churchill takes the biscuit, you are right …. that cigar!

    Liked by 1 person

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