Photographs are hung on tall, white panels are arranged throughout the large space.

The World of Yousuf Karsh: A Private Essence

March 12 to October 16, 2022

Witness the famed photographer’s iconic work and learn about his origins as an Armenian refugee to Canada in 1924. This special exhibition features over 100 portraits of major figures of the 20th century.

Canadian photographer Yousuf Karsh (1908-2002) was one of the greatest portraitists of his time. He captured revealing and defining images of the world’s most influential figures, among them Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, Helen Keller and Muhammad Ali, along with iconic Canadians Karen Kain, Marshall McLuhan, and famed African Nova Scotian concert singer Portia White. The portraits are mostly large format images and many are rare prints which Karsh himself developed.

Albert Einstein, February 11, 1948

Estrellita Karsh, 1963

Winston Churchill, 1941

Muhammad Ali, 1970

Gratien Gélinas, 1945

Ingrid Bergman, 1946

Portia White, 1946

Nelson Mandela, 1990

Ernest Hemingway, 1957

Karen Kain, 1977

Glenn Gould, 1957

All photographs © Estate of Yousuf Karsh.


An exhibition organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in collaboration with the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. Curated by Dr. Hilliard T. Goldfarb, Senior Curator Emeritus–Collections and Curator of Old Masters, MMFA.

The Halifax exhibition is supported by Fred and Elizabeth Fountain.