The Yousuf Karsh Archive


Yousuf Karsh was an Armenian, born in the Ottoman Empire in 1908. After his family fled, he was sent to live in Quebec, with an uncle who was a portrait photographer. Noticing young Yousuf’s interest and ability, his uncle arranged for an apprenticeship with the noted Boston photographer John Garo. After a three-year stint with Garo, Karsh returned to Quebec and began his illustrious career. In this illuminating video, Julie Grahame, from the Yousuf Karsh estate, presents several of Karsh’s most well-known works and tells the stories behind the images, including that of his famous 1941 portrait of Winston Churchill. Grahame also delves into the nuts and bolts of running the Karsh archive and the manner in which she handles rights, licensing requests, and search engine optimization for images from his more than 15,000 sittings.