Yousuf Karsh: Regarding Heroes

July 9, 2011 - September 3, 2011

Through his portraits, Yousuf Karsh helped to create our collective visual memory of 20th century statesmen, artists, musicians, writers, actors, and celebrities, including Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway, Albert Einstein, Audrey Hepburn, and many others.

Yousuf Karsh admired individuals of high achievement and his notion of what constituted a genuine hero was affected by his optimistic outlook on society, even in the darkest days of World War II. Karsh’s defiant and scowling portrait of Winston Churchill became an instant icon of Britain’s stand against fascism. While styles in portraiture changed after the war, Karsh’s images, with their engaging lighting and indelible character study, consistently display one of the most recognizable, signature styles in portrait photography.

Throughout his long career, Karsh put aside a selection of his own favorite prints of his favorite subjects that are now in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. This exhibition contains 100 prints drawn from that collection. This exhibition tour is organized by Curatorial Assistance, Pasadena, California.

Yousuf Karsh, Humphrey Bogart, 1946, gelatin silver print
Yousuf Karsh, Sir Winston Churchill, 1941, gelatin silver print Yousuf Karsh, Aaron Copland, 1956, gelatin silver print Yousuf Karsh, Jacques Cousteau, 1972, gelatin silver print Yousuf Karsh, Audrey Hepburn, 1956, gelatin silver print