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Image of Bishop Desmond Tutu

Yousuf Karsh
Canadian, born Armenia, 1908–2002

Bishop Desmond Tutu


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: 2013.0005.0068

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

Bishop Desmond Tutu (1931-2021)

A leader in the struggle for racial equality in South Africa, Bishop Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. In 1986 he was elected the first black archbishop of Cape Town.

Karsh made Tutu’s portrait in his Ottawa studio. From 1972 until his retirement in 1992, he used a small camera room, a reception room, and two small working spaces on the sixth floor of the ornate and exclusive Chateau Laurier Hotel. By the time he photographed Tutu, a Karsh portrait session cost more than a thousand dollars and prints cost extra.

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