Yousuf Karsh Helen Keller Thompson

EAST LANSING, MI –– Kresge Art Museum at Michigan State University ( MSU) will host Yousuf Karsh Photographs, from January 8 to March 18, 2007, presenting iconic images of some of the 20th century’s most notable figures, including Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Ernest Hemingway, Andy Warhol, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Frank Lloyd Wright.

Yousuf Karsh Georgia O'keeffeFor over sixty years numerous world famous people in politics, theology, royalty, the arts and sciences posed for Armenian-born Canadian photographer Yousuf Karsh (1908-2002).  These “contemporary historical documents,” as he called them, are often the images by which these renowned people are best known.

Thirty black and white photographs on view in the Kresge Art Museum, Michigan State University, include a large group of artists and writers, as well as architects, scientists and musicians.  On loan courtesy of the Detroit Institute of Arts, these photographs were a gift from Yousuf and Estrellita Karsh in honor of Governor James and Janet Blanchard, and are testament to their friendship.  The Blanchards have generously sponsored this exhibition.

 The opening reception for the exhibition is hosted by Governor James and Janet Blanchard and the Friends of Kresge Art Museum on Friday, January 12, 2007, 6-8 p.m. at Kresge Art Museum.  This event is FREE and open to the public. Attendees will have a chance to meet the Blanchards, as well as honored guests Mrs. Yousuf Karsh and Jerry Fielder, Karsh’s longtime curator.

Karsh Curator Jerry Fielder will give a lecture on his work with photographer Yousuf Karsh on Thursday, January 11, 7 p.m., at 108 Kresge Art Center, sharing experiences and stories linked to Karsh’s work, including his iconic portraits. 

Yousuf Karsh Winston ChurchillSeveral film showings and a gallery walk are also planned to correspond with this exhibition.  The film Karsh: The Searching Eye (1986, approx. 80 minutes) will be shown at 108 Kresge Art Center on Sunday, February 4 at 2:00 p.m., and Sunday, March 4 at 2:00 p.m. Harry Rasky’s informative biography of Yousuf Karsh explores his work and philosophy, using hundreds of his photographs and supplementary historical footage.

A gallery walk, Yousuf Karsh Photographs, is scheduled at Kresge Art Museum for the last day of the exhibition, Sunday, March 18, at 2 p.m.

Also on view January 8 to March 18, 2007 in KAM’s Works on Paper Gallery is another exhibition of art with a Canadian connection.  Contemporary Arctic Expressions, Inuit Prints from the Kresge Art Museum Collection.  In this exhibition representing the native artistic tradition of Canada, a sampling of 15 recently acquired prints primarily from two print cooperatives, Cape Dorset and Baker Lake, will be on view.  They include a range of artists and subjects from the start of Inuit print production in the 1960s to the present.  They also depict typical Inuit subjects; the spirit world with fantastic creatures, shamans, and transformations of people into animals; hunting and everyday life; and the increasing clash of traditional life with the encroaching commercial and contemporary world.  This exhibition is cosponsored by the Department of Canadian Studies, Michigan State University.

Kresge Art Museum is located in East Lansing, MI, on the first floor of the Kresge Art Center at the intersection of Physics and Auditorium Roads between the Alumni Chapel and the MSU Auditorium on the campus of Michigan State University.  Museum hours are Monday through Friday, 10 to 5 p.m., Thursday until 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.  For additional information visit

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