Some cool technologie images:
Portrait of Yousuf Karsh
Image by cstm-mstc
I met Yousuf Karsh during the opening reception of a photographic exhibition by Yousuf Karsh at the Ohio University Art Gallery. I was a student at Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, studying Journalism and Comparative Literature. Karsh had photographed David Hostetler and his art. Hostetler is a well-known American wood carver and bronze sculptor of works capturing the female form. I had just taken my first photography course for journalism students, and I was working for The Ohio University Post, the student daily newspaper, as a writer/photographer. David Hostetler introduced me to Karsh and his wife Estrellita, and I arranged to take Yousuf Karsh’s photograph and to interview him at The Ohio University Inn the following morning where he planned to have breakfast.
That morning, as I positioned my camera to take a shot, Karsh asked where my light meter was. I told him I didn’t use one. Actually, I didn’t know how to use one, but I didn’t tell him that. He looked at me as if I were crazy. The following month, Yousuf Karsh send me a letter: “In your article in The Post you managed to get in all the salient points of the brief discussion we had together at the breakfast table.” He didn’t mention the absence of a light meter, but I’m sure the naïve photographer made an impression on him. Karsh certainly made an impression on me, and I kept in touch with him; I soon afterwards went to Canada to study French at the McGill French Summer School. I have several letters from Karsh.
During the interview I had with Karsh, I was very impressed by how interesting everything he said was, and I distinctly remember that I decided at that time that I wanted to be like that. He was my first ‘celebrity’ photograph. Since then, I became a professional photographer and have photographed many celebrities. I sent him a print of the photograph I took of him in 1968. In a letter he sent me he said my photograph was ‘charming.’ I think he was the charming element of the photograph. Yousuf Karsh was always polite and encouraging to young people. I’m sure my interest in photographing people was sparked when I photographed him. He certainly made an impression on me.
©Photo of Yousuf Karsh by Lois Siegel
Submitted by Lois Siegel
Image by cstm-mstc
Collection of Jack Horwitz
My father, J. C. Horwitz, wanted to have his portrait taken by Karsh, and in retrospect I wondered why. Orphaned at an early age, his siblings raised him and sent him to university and law school, where he graduated as one of the top of his class. He expected prestigious law firms to choose him, but was told that clients wouldn’t want a Jewish lawyer. Despite this, his private practice prospered and he became very involved in his communities, the politics of the day, and the construction of Israel.
Early on, he acquired Canadian art, and had his children sit for a portrait by an immigrant artist, which then hung in our living room. It was at this time that he asked Yousuf Karsh to take his and his brother’s portrait. My father had become an organizer in all levels of politics, and was president of a Jewish charity and representative organization for Canada and eastern U.S. A. His brother, Phil, was a builder and hotelier, a great bon-vivant and story-teller and it was he who met Karsh and found that Karsh was interested in taking photos of local personalities who were recognized by their communities.
Perhaps as an orator himself, my father saw Karsh’s Churchill, a man he admired. Perhaps it was a reflection of achieving some status in society. Maybe it was a chance to immortalize himself through an artist’s vision, or to leave this image for future generations. Most likely, it was a combination of all these things.
Collection Jack Horwitz
Mon père, J. C. Horwitz, voulait se faire photographier par Karsh et à l’époque, je me suis demandé pourquoi. Devenu orphelin très jeune, mon père a été élevé par ses frères et sœurs, qui l’ont envoyé à l’université et qui lui ont fait faire ses études de droit, qu’il a d’ailleurs terminées parmi les premiers de sa classe. Il s’attendait à être recruté par des cabinets d’avocats prestigieux, mais on lui avait répondu que les clients ne voudraient pas d’un avocat juif. Malgré tout, son cabinet privé a prospéré et il s’est beaucoup investi dans sa communauté, dans les dossiers politiques de l’heure et dans la construction de l’État d’Israël.
Très tôt, il s’était mis à acquérir des œuvres d’art et avait fait faire un portrait de ses enfants par un artiste immigrant, portrait qui trônait dans notre salon. C’est alors qu’il avait demandé à Yousuf Karsh de le photographier avec son frère. Mon père œuvrait comme organisateur politique à tous les niveaux. Il présidait également un organisme juif de charité et de représentation du Canada et du Nord des États-Unis. Son frère Phil était constructeur et hôtelier. C’était un bon vivant et un conteur. C’est lui qui avait fait la connaissance de Karsh et qui avait constaté que le photographe était intéressé à photographier des personnalités locales reconnues au sein de leur communauté.
Peut-être est-ce parce que mon père, étant lui-même orateur, avait vu le portrait qu’avait fait Karsh de Churchill, dont il était admirateur. Peut-être s’agissait-il du reflet de l’atteinte d’un certain statut au sein de la société. Peut-être était-ce l’occasion de se voir immortaliser par la vision d’un artiste ou de léguer cette image aux générations futures. C’était sans doute une combinaison de tout cela.