Photographer Yousuf Karsh (Canadian, born Armenia, 1908–2002) utilized portraiture to capture the essence of extraordinary men and women. Karsh’s early feelings of helplessness as a child who witnessed the genocide in Armenia, later spurred him to seek out those who obtained power in their chosen paths. He brought a compassionate eye to his rich and detailed photographs of cultural icons, many of whom were instrumental in sparking changes and spurring societal transformations around the world.
The MMFA holds 100 photographs by Karsh in our Permanent Collection. On view in this new outdoor Art Walk are 10 of his portraits representing figures who have made an impact on our world through their leadership and ideals, words, and actions. In addition to the images, MMFA staff and volunteers contributed insights and reflections on these remarkable figures who were voices for change in our society.
Organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama.
The Museum would like to thank the Estate of Yousuf Karsh for their ongoing support and collaboration.
“My life had been enriched by meeting many remarkable personalities on this photographic odyssey, the first of many, to record those men and women who leave their mark on our era.”
—Yousuf Karsh, from A Brief Biography
Listen + Learn
Join artist Bill Ford for a personal journey reflecting on each of the subjects photographed by Yousuf Karsh and their contributions to our shared humanity.