Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Yervant Chekijian (right) poses next to his favorite Karsh  photograph,  famous Armenian composer Aram Khachatourian.  
Karsh photograph of Martin Luther King hangs on the wall to the far right.
Photo Credit: Marash Girl

At the ALMA banquet celebrating the opening of the new permanent installation of 50 photographs by the celebrated photographer Yousuf Karsh, Jerry Fielder spoke of his early
experiences working with Karsh. When Karsh (during a photography shoot), asked Fielder to bring him a lampshade, Fielder brought Karsh the shade, but was surprised to see Karsh's disappointment.  Fielder, nonplussed, questioned Karsh, who answered, "Don't give me what I ask for; give me what I want!"   

Jerry Fielder talking with Levon Charkoudian at the opening of the Yousuf Karsh Exhibit, CELEBRATING HUMANITY.  Photo Credit: Marash Girl
The Winston Churchill photo elicited another favorite story. Apparently preparing for the photo shoot, Karsh asked Churchill to remove his cigar; Churchill did not.  Just before he photographed Churchill, Karsh walked up to the cigar and forcibly removed it from between Churchill's lips. Returning to his camera, Karsh took the photograph of Winston Churchill that now graces the walls of ALMA's galleries.

Fielder noted, "Karsh looked for the truth and drew it from his subjects in order to share that truth with us." 

Haig derManuelian (left) and Estrellita Karsh cutting the ribbon to open the Karsh exhibit at the Armenian Library & Museum of America. Photo Credit:  Marash Girl


  1. "Don't give me what I ask for; give me what I want!"
    or in Armenian parlance, 'know that when i say leplabe, i mean leplabu'.

  2. "Lep demeden leblebiyi anlar." If chick is said, they understand (that) chickpeas (is meant).

    It means he/she is so smart that with a little information he/she gets it. It has a positive connotation. It can be used as a compliment.

  3. Yes. However, I always thought it meant something more specific, i.e., you should know me so well that when I say something, I really mean something else.