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Image of Elixir (Solange Karsh)

Yousuf Karsh
Canadian, born Armenia, 1908–2002

Elixir (Solange Karsh)

1938

Object Type: Photograph
Dimensions:
20 in. x 15 in. (50.8 cm x 38.1 cm)
Medium and Support: Gelatin silver print on paper
Accession Number: 2013.0005.0016

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


Elixir (Solange Karsh, 1900–1961) Solange Gautier met Karsh when they both worked with Ottawa’s Little Theatre in 1932. She introduced him to theatre lighting, became his secretary in 1936, and married him in 1939. Solange was Yousuf’s muse, model, assistant, and confidante until her death from cancer in 1961. Karsh called her “my teacher, my expression, my conscience.” In the 1930s Karsh photographed Solange often, capturing the dancer’s graceful exuberance indoors and out, in formal and informal settings. She posed for several nude photos that the fledgling artist submitted to competitive exhibitions, but Karsh never showed her face in those photos.

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