Karsh 100: A Biography in Images

Amy Julian

You know the iconic, timeless photographs that portray the likes of Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway, Albert Einstein, and Audrey Hepburn, but do you know that the one man who influenced the world with his knack for capturing real emotion and evoking the same retired to Boston, spending his last days speaking of the beauty the city had to offer?

Armenian-Canadian Yousuf Karsh (1908-2002), who is considered by many to be the most influential photographer of all time, captured the essence of nature and its inhabitants and used the lens as a window into the lives of some of the most famous people of the time. In addition to capturing the beautiful landscapes of Vancouver and everyday objects in their simplistic and underappreciated beauty, Karsh is perhaps most famous for his portraits of figures such as Hepburn, Churchill, Pablo Picasso, Helen Keller, and so many more figures who have influenced the world politically, artistically and humanitarianly.

Six years after the passing of Karsh, and marking what would have been his one-hundredth birthday, The Museum of Fine Arts has put together a remarkable exhibition and tribute to the late photographer, showcasing his work and emphasizing his talent and passion for his life’s calling. The MFA also promises displays of his less acknowledged, yet still breathtaking, images and “archival material revealing Karsh’s personality, his approach to his work, and the friendships he forged” with his subjects. “Karsh 100: a Biography in Images” will open to the public on September 23 in the Museum’s Rabb Gallery. It is scheduled to run through January of 2009.

The show is expected to be a memorable experience, and images of his subjects (from 1941 through the early 90’s) are sure to evoke emotion and memories in audiences visiting the exhibit. Be sure to check out the exhibit at the MFA in Boston and pay tribute to an inspirational man who influenced generations and has set new standards for photographers everywhere. Admission to the Museum is free to students with a valid University ID, while special exhibits such as this will cost an additional (perhaps discounted) fee. Whether you are a photography student or simply enjoy taking in beautiful art, you will not be disappointed in this exhibit.

Amy Julian can be reached at [email protected]