Georgia O'Keeffe, 1956 by Yousuf Karsh


19.9 – 21.10 2016

Yousuf Karsh:A Portrait

Yousuf Karsh:A Portrait

19.09 – 21.10.2016



Monday to Friday

10:00 am – 5:30 pm


3-5 Swallow Street

Huxley-Parlour presented the first major London exhibition in 30 years of portraits by renowned photographer Yousuf Karsh (1908 – 2002). The exhibition included signed lifetime prints of twentieth century sitters from the realms of politics, film, royalty and art including Winston Churchill, George Bernard Shaw, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Georgia O’Keefe, Joan Miró, Audrey Hepburn, Albert Einstein, Fidel Castro and Martin Luther King.

Karsh was one of the most respected and acclaimed photographers of the century. Fascinated by ‘greatness’, he aimed to capture the essential character of his sitters, instilling them with both charisma and dignity in his nearly 60-year career. A highlight of the exhibition is Karsh’s iconic wartime portrait of Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Taken in 1941, whilst Churchill was visiting Ottawa, the portrait was a career-defining break for Karsh. Churchill refused to discard his cigar but Karsh took the cigar out of the politician’s mouth and managed to capture the glare of the world’s most famous politician of the time. Published worldwide by newspapers and magazines, the photograph established Karsh’s international reputation and was one of the most reproduced photographs in history

After the huge success of Karsh’s Churchill portrait, high-profile commissions followed, many of which are included in this exhibition. On show will be Karsh’s 1951 portrait of Princess Elizabeth; his portrait of Fidel Castro whilst Prime Minister of Cuba in 1971; Pablo Picasso in his ceramics gallery in 1954 and actress Audrey Hepburn in Paramount Studios in 1956 amongst others.

Work and Highlights


  • 1

    Martin Luther King, 1960

  • 2

    Mother Theresa, 1988

  • 3

    W.H. Auden, 1972

  • 4

    Alberto Giacometti, 1965

  • 5

    Martha Graham, 1948

  • 6

    Ernest Hemingway, Cuba 1957

  • 7

    Georgia O’Keeffe, 1956

Yousuf Karsh

B. Armenia 1908

B. Armenia 1908


Yousuf Karsh was one of the most significant portrait photographers of the twentieth century. His portraits are easily recognisable for their bold use of studio lighting and closely cropped composition. Karsh’s photographs of the best-known politicians and cultural figures of the day have become their most enduring portraits.

Karsh’s works are held in galleries and leading museums all over the world, and he published over fifteen books of his iconic photographs. During his career, Karsh received numerous awards, including the Medal of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (1975) and the Companion of the Order of Canada (1990), as well as obtaining over 24 honorary degrees. In 2001 he was included in the International Who’s Who list of the 100 most influential people of the twentieth century. Karsh was the only Canadian, and the only photographer, on the list.

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