CANADA: A Gallery of Greatness

After a photographer's apprenticeship in Boston, Armenian-born Yousuf Karsh set up his own portrait studio in Ottawa because he yearned to photograph prominent men. Now a courtly 51, Karsh of Ottawa is as renowned as most of his subjects. Last week the Canadian capital paid the world's foremost portrait photographer the unusual compliment of an exhibition at the National Gallery.

The exhibition is Karsh's gallery of greatness—portraits of the 74 statesmen, artists, poets, scientists and philosophers, from the legions he has photographed, whom Karsh considers most qualified by their "concern and love for fellowman." He winnowed the number from...

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