SIGNED BY KARSH
KARSH, Yousuf. Karsh Portraits. Boston: New York Graphic Society, (1979). Square folio, original red cloth, original dust jacket. $500.
Third printing of this selective retrospective of 48 of Karsh’s best known portraits, signed by him on the front free endpaper.
After a short apprenticeship in Boston, Karsh opened his own studio in 1931 with the intention of photographing the world's most influential people. His skill as a portraitist was quickly recognized, but he attained international acclaim with the publication in Life magazine of his 1941 portrait of a defiant Winston Churchill, an image forever synonymous with the courage of wartime England. "The story behind the portrait is now legendary: the photograph captured Churchill's reaction when Karsh pulled a freshly lit cigar from the prime minister's mouth" (Witkin, 172). "By the time I got back to my camera," Karsh later recalled, "he looked so belligerent he could have devoured me." Churchill's glowering expression appeared on the cover of Life and was syndicated throughout the world. Churchill, too, had sensed it was a remarkable moment. "You can even make a roaring lion stand still to be photographed," he said. The Churchill picture brought Karsh a succession of commissions and made him an international celebrity. In addition to the Churchill portrait, this retrospective includes 47 more of the photographer's best-known portraits, including Ernest Hemingway, Albert Einstein, Muhammad Ali, Marian Anderson, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Vladimir Nabokov, Robert Oppenheimer, Pablo Picasso, Jacques Cousteau, Tennessee Williams, and many more. First published in 1976.
Book fine, dust jacket near-fine.