A summer-long celebration marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of a legendary Ottawa-based portrait photographer launches here Friday.
Festival Karsh — a collaboration between the Canada Science and Technology Museum and the Portrait Gallery of Canada — features the exhibit Karsh: Image Maker at the museum.
Born in Turkish Armenia in 1908, Karsh achieved renown in the 1940s and 1950s by photographing celebrities and world leaders.
The exhibit includes the tools Karsh used to craft his images and signature style, including a floor-to-ceiling enlarger and his iconic Calumet camera. Also on view are portraits of some of the 20th century’s leading figures, from Sir Winston Churchill to Audrey Hepburn, drawn from the 350,000 items in the Karsh collection held at Library and Archives Canada.
“Canadians can feel enormous pride in Yousuf Karsh’s achievements,” said Lilly Koltun, who is responsible for the portrait collection at Library and Archives Canada.
The festival also includes a self-directed walking tour of 11 sites and displays related to Karsh’s 65 years in the city. Karsh Trail, winding through downtown Ottawa, includes Ottawa Little Theatre, Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, as well as to the site of Karsh’s first studio on Sparks Street, which he opened in 1933 during the Great Depression.
The exhibit runs through Sept. 13.