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Montgomery Museum of Fine Art

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Karsh’s Faces from History: Making a Difference

July 27 through August 25, 2013

Karsh_tutuFascinated by those capable of greatness, Yousuf Karsh (Canadian, born Armenia, 1908–2002) utilized photographic portraiture to capture the essence of such people.  His rich and detailed photographs disclose the mind and soul behind the human face.  Karsh believed that those who attain greatness share certain traits. He stated, “The physical details of the faces of artists and thinkers vary, of course, but anyone who examines these portraits will observe in them all, I think, an inward power, that power that is essential to any work of the mind or imagination.”

A childhood witness to the genocide in Armenia, Karsh sought to portray cultural icons that bore a similar witness to great changes in society. Each portrait in the exhibition Karsh’s Faces from History: Making a Difference was a celebration of the accomplishments of people who made a difference in our world through their leadership and ideals. All great humanitarians, they each played a role in making our world a better place. Included were portraits of people such as: political activist, Nobel Laureate, and Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel; “First Lady of the World” and human rights activist, Eleanor Roosevelt; songwriter, musician, and activist for human rights and environmental justice, Joan Baez; clergyman and iconic Civil Rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr.; and Anglican bishop and South African Social activist, Desmond Tutu.



Sponsored by Jackson Thornton.

Yousuf Karsh (Canadian, born Armenia, 1908–2002), Bishop Desmond Tutu, 1986, gelatin silver print on paper, Gift of Estrellita Karsh, in honor of Mark M. Johnson, and in memory of Yousuf Karsh, 2013.5.68.