WINDSOR - Yousuf Karsh (1908 – 2002) is one of Canada’s best-known artists and considered one of the masters of 20th century photography. He’s renowned for his iconic images of Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Ernest Hemingway, as well as other heads of state and celebrities. His photographs stand out as they draw the viewer in with an intimate and compassionate view of humanity.
Recently, Ford of Canada was pleased to announce a gift of 39 works by the acclaimed photographer to the Art Gallery of Windsor (AGW). These magnificent images, captured by Karsh during his visit to Ford’s Windsor site in 1951, honor the people and the history of Windsor, Ont.
“Yousuf Karsh’s work helps to demonstrate the proud legacy Ford of Canada has in Windsor – a commitment to quality, involvement in the community, and a dedication to our workforce. This is a gift to Windsor and a celebration of a special era of our everyday heroes captured by a true master,” said Dianne Craig, president and CEO, Ford of Canada.
Karsh was born in Mardin, Armenia and arrived in Canada in 1924. For more than six decades he maintained a studio in Ottawa. Karsh garnered a dozen Honorary Doctorates from universities in Canada and the United States, Companion to the Order of Canada and numerous professional photography awards. His exhibition history includes showing at the World’s Fair in Montreal in 1967 and at the National Portrait Gallery in London, England.
“The industrial projects of Yousuf Karsh have been little studied, yet were surprisingly a substantial part of his career,” said Cassandra Getty, former AGW curator. “They document important aspects of Canadian history and national life, with a focus on the City of Windsor and industry.”
An exhibition of selected works from the collection will be shown at the AGW through April 6 for the enjoyment of Windsor residents, as well as visitors from the surrounding area.
“We thank Ford for this extraordinary gift. This acquisition represents a culmination of many years of partnership and work between the Art Gallery of Windsor and Ford of Canada, and the board and staff of both organizations. We look forward to sharing these great works,” said Dr. Catharine Mastin, director, AGW.
“While at first I did not realize it, everything connected with the art of photography captivated my interest and energy — it was to be not only my livelihood but my continuing passion.” – Yousuf Karsh