New Armenian Stamps (Karsh brothers)
Posted 02 April 2001 - 03:45 PM
Canada Post said Armenia was "the first nation in the world to adopt Christianity as its state religion," 1,700 years ago.
An estimated 50,000 people of Armenian descent now live in Canada, a country to which they or their ancestors were drawn by its religious freedom
Posted 01 March 2015 - 05:05 PM
Ottawa Citizen, Canada
Feb 28 2015
Library and Archives Canada acquires huge Malak Karsh collection
Andrew Duffy, Ottawa Citizen
Malak Karsh's vibrant photos of Ottawa tulips, Gatineau leaves and
Canada's full glory are about to be preserved for future generations.
Library and Archives Canada will announce Sunday the purchase of more
than 200,000 photographic images from Malak's vast collection of
transparencies, negatives and prints.
The images, captured between 1968 and 2001, include many colour photos
of Parliament Hill and the tulip festival, along with landscapes from
across the country. Other images feature Canadians at work in
agriculture, industry and the arts.
Library and Archives Canada has already acquired much of Malak's
black-and-white photo collection.
The eldest of Malak's four children, Sidney, said his late father
travelled the country hundreds of times, always with his camera at the
ready. "He specialized in finding the beauty of Canada," Karsh, 68,
said in an interview Friday. "He wanted to make sure that Canadians
saw that beauty. ... It was a lifelong passion for him."
Malak, who died in November 2001 from leukemia, would have celebrated
his 100th birthday on Sunday.
Library and Archives Canada plans to digitize the Malak collection and
make some photos available to Canadians through its website.
Librarian and Archivist of Canada Guy Berthiaume called photography an
"integral and invaluable part" of Canada's documentary heritage. At
least six of Malak's images have appeared on Canadian stamps and
another -- a picture of a log drive behind Parliament Hill -- was
featured on the back on the now-defunct $1 bill.
The federal government paid $644,000 for the Malak collection.
Malak Karsh was born in the city of Mardin, in what is now
southeastern Turkey, only weeks before the Ottoman government began
the forced deportation of its Armenian Christian population in April
1915. The massive deportation, and accompanying massacres, killed more
than one million Armenians, who were regarded as an enemy within by
Malak survived the slaughter and immigrated in 1937 to Canada where he
learned photography from his older brother, Yousuf, a
much-sought-after portrait photographer. He used the name Malak to
distinguish himself from his famous brother -- and decided to focus his
lens on the dramatic landscapes of his adopted homeland.
It was a decision prompted by his first visit to the Gatineau Hills.
"When I saw the beautiful autumn colours, I said, 'That is what I am
going to be: I am going to be a photographer,' " Malak told an
interviewer in 1997. "If Canada is all as beautiful as the Gatineaus,
I am going to travel all over Canada."
He established his own photographic studio on Sparks Street in April
1941 and hired a young assistant, Barbara Fraser, whom he married the
following year. Malak sold one of his cameras to pay for their
Equipped with a German-made Hasselblad camera, Malak photographed much
of the country, but he had a special affinity for the national capital
region. "This is the only landscape that lets me take crocuses through
the snow," he once said. "And in winter, the hoarfrost and trees here
transform our landscape into a fairyland."
Malak captured log drives on the Ottawa River, the Parliament
buildings draped in snow, a tour boat emerging from the mist of Rideau
Falls, the ByWard Market brimming with produce and, of course, tulips.
In 1952, Malak approached the Ottawa Board of Trade with the idea of
starting a tulip festival -- and a beloved Ottawa tradition was born.
"I have unlimited love for tulips," he told one interviewer. "Every
year I say, 'I have enough tulip pictures, I won't take any more.' But
each year, it doesn't work."
Malak continued to work after being afflicted with leukemia. He'd snap
pictures of nurses and doctors during visits to the hospital, and once
photographed a group of interns examining his gout-stricken feet. Only
days before his death, he walked to Parliament Hill from his home in
the Glebe to photograph a tree he admired.
Library and Archives Canada is acquiring a Malak Karsh collection of 200,000 images. Above is Tulips and Parliament Hill, during the 2000 Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa.
Cattle round-up in the Turner Valley, Turner Valley, Alta. (1972) is part of the vast Malak collection being acquired.
Edited by Yervant1, 01 March 2015 - 05:08 PM.
Posted 03 March 2015 - 11:05 AM
A UNIQUELY CANADIAN EYE
The Toronto Star, Canada
March 1, 2015 Sunday
One hundred years after his birth, Library and Archives Canada has
completed its collection of images by landscape photographer Malak
Karsh. The thousands of photos are a vast love letter to the beauty
of this country
Malak Karsh was a seeker of beauty, and he found it in Canada's
frigid Arctic, blooming Ottawa tulips and still Alberta lakes. Chances
are you've owned a Malak Karsh - it was his 1963 photograph of logs
floating behind Parliament Hill that once graced the $1 bill.
On what would be the photographer's 100th birthday, Library and
Archives Canada has announced it has acquired a collection of about
200,000 of Karsh's photographs taken between 1968 and 2001, completing
a collection of his earlier work acquired in 1985.
Karsh, born in Armenian Turkey, immigrated to Canada in 1937 to
apprentice with his brother, portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh.
Initially, the two brothers diversified so they didn't compete with
each other. While Malak shot portraits occasionally, he was known
for his landscape and nature photography.
In the 1960s, he was hired by a Canadian government tourism bureau to
travel across the country and take photographs. He became enchanted
with the land.
"After that, he would spend his own money; he would select places he'd
want to go, take the pictures and build up a very large archive of
stock photography that he and my mother would market to publications
like the Michelin Guide and many calendars and textbooks," said Sidney
Karsh, one of Malak's four children.
Ottawa was always home - Malak loved to document and promote the
region. (He is called the "spiritual father of the Canadian Tulip
Festival" for his role in its creation and was later given a key to
His trademark shooting style was from up high, so he always had
assistants to carry a ladder for him - including Sidney, who remembers
how they'd be up at the "crack of dawn" to capture the early morning
light, and how all meals were eaten as quickly as possible so as not
to miss the sun.
Karsh, who received the Order of Canada, was shooting pictures until
his death in 2001.
Posted 03 March 2015 - 11:07 AM
MALAK: MAJOR PHOTOGRAPHIC ACQUISITION BY LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA
States News Service
March 1, 2015 Sunday
The following information was released by the Government of Canada:
On the 100th anniversary of the birth of acclaimed Canadian
photographer Malak (OC, MPA), Library and Archives Canada (LAC)
is pleased to announce the acquisition of a significant amount of
the artists photographic archives. The recent acquisition includes
approximately 200,000 photographic transparencies and negatives, ca.
19682001, as well as 13 exhibitions prints and textual records. This
constitutes a significant addition to the Malak (19152001) fonds held
LAC will work to make these holdings available through its website
as they become digitized.
Malaks portrayal of Canadas geographical and cultural diversity has
been very influential in shaping how Canadians view their own country
and its visual identity.
Malaks images have been used on at least 11 Canadian stamps, and his
iconic photograph of the log drive below Parliament Hill appeared on
the $1 bill (19741989).
Malak was a recipient of the Key to the City of Ottawa, and played
a major role in the creation of the Canadian Tulip Festival.
Our Government is proud to have acquired this important part of
our Canadian heritage. Library and Archives Canadas acquisitions
continue to document the rich diversity of Canadian society. The 100th
anniversary of the birth of acclaimed Canadian photographer Malak is
a great opportunity to reflect and appreciate our geographical and
- The Honourable Shelly Glover
Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official
Photography is an integral and invaluable part of our documentary
heritage. It serves as a recordproviding not only a repository
of information and knowledge, but also portraying a wide range of
emotionswhich gives it a broad and comprehensive relevance. Library
and Archives Canada will preserve the images of the Malak fonds in
optimal conditions and will digitize them to enable all Canadians to
discover them on our digital platforms.
- Dr. Guy Berthiaume
Librarian and Archivist of Canada
Our family is very pleased that the Malak fonds at LAC will now
constitute a far-reaching and unique photographic record of the beauty
of Canada, its landscape and its people, and their activities, seen
through the lens of an Armenian immigrant who truly loved his adopted
country. We are very excited that Malaks legacy will be conserved
and made available for Canadians to enjoy.
- Barbara Karsh and family
Malak Karsh fonds
Sneak preview of Malak Karsh fonds
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