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Image of Eleanor Roosevelt

Yousuf Karsh
Canadian, born Armenia, 1908–2002

Eleanor Roosevelt


Object Type: Photograph
19 3/4 in. x 15 7/8 in. (50.17 cm x 40.32 cm)
Medium and Support: Gelatin silver print on paper
Accession Number: 1996.0005.0010

Credit Line: Gifted to the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts by the artist in honor of Museum Director, Mark M. Johnson
Copyright: © Estate of Yousuf Karsh

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962) When Karsh photographed the First Lady, he noted that, “her hands are among the most eloquent I have ever seen.” Karsh, of course, had seen a lot of hands. Hers, he said, “seemed somehow to reveal the woman herself.” For the sitting, Karsh commandeered a folding screen and a chair. Then, “I…allowed Mrs. Roosevelt’s hands to act out, as it were, their natural part in her personality…. I watched them as carefully as I watched the face and when their gesture seemed to fit exactly the expression I quickly made the exposure.”

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