(Dayton, OH) - You may not know the name Yousuf Karsh but you've probably have seen at least one of his images and will be extremely familiar with many of the icons and idols featured in his portraits.

YOUSUF KARSH: AMERICAN PORTRAITS opened June 23rd at The Dayton Art Institute and gives you an opportunity to visit with these beautiful photographs and learn about this brilliant photographer who grew up in the midst of the Armenian genocide.  This traveling exhibit was organized by the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery and features a companion exhibit of photography from the art institute's collection by Daytonian, Jane Reece (1868–1961) that coincides with her 150th birthday.
Exclusively in black and white, Yousuf's portraiture style comes through in each of these 20th century photographs, showing his impeccable use of light and shadow and his well-chosen backgrounds and poses.  Each photograph in the exhibit feels alive and tells a story about its subject as in the case of my favorite photograph of legendary Martha Graham whose dancer's posture and grace comes through the photograph that features very little of the dancer and choreographer's body.
After viewing the Karsh and Reece exhibits, the institute's curators also have a little fun at the end where you can take a photo or selfie with an iconic figure yourself and share on social media using the hashtags #americanportraitsdai and #daytonart.
About the Exhibition
During a career that spanned six decades, photographer Yousuf Karsh (1908-2002) created iconic portraits of many of the 20th century’s most influential men and women - from fields as diverse as business, medicine, entertainment, politics, and the arts. Karsh photographed countless international figures, but his images of Americans are counted among his finest portraits. This exhibition features 48 black-and-white photographs from the National Portrait Gallery’s collection.

Featured portraits include writer Ernest Hemingway; artists Georgia O’Keeffe and Andy Warhol; actors Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart; athletes Muhammad Ali and Jackie Robinson; business leaders Elizabeth Arden and Warren Buffett; architects Frank Lloyd Wright and I. M. Pei; first ladies Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Eleanor Roosevelt; and entertainment giants Walt Disney and Jim Henson, as well as many others!

Yousuf Karsh: American Portraits, on view June 23 - September 16, 2018.

Click here for more information on hours and how to visit the art institute.

~ safe travels ~