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Image of Aaron Copland

Yousuf Karsh
Canadian, born Armenia, 1908–2002

Aaron Copland


Object Type: Photograph
20 in. x 16 in. (50.8 cm x 40.64 cm)
Medium and Support: Gelatin silver print on paper
Accession Number: 2013.0005.0011

Credit Line: Gift of Estrellita Karsh, in honor of Mark M. Johnson, and in memory of Yousuf Karsh
Copyright: © Estate of Yousuf Karsh

Aaron Copland (1900–1990) During the mid-twentieth century, “the Dean of American Composers” mixed strains of traditional American folk music with a modernist twist on classical forms to create a distinctive sound and style. His scores for Rodeo (1942), Appalachian Spring (1944), Lincoln Portrait (1942), and Fanfare for the Common Man (1942) have become perennial favorites. When Karsh photographed Copland he noted, “there was about him a certain candor and friendliness that endeared him to me at once.” That warmth and directness is detectable in his portrait, a classic Karsh composition with Copland’s head highlighted above his musical scores—one published, one in manuscript.

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