The quadrennial spectacle of the presidential campaign is one of the few shows playing around the country at the moment, and like most theatre it includes heroes and villains, backstage crews, directors, designers and critics, all playing for audiences everywhere. While Al Hirschfeld admitted he did not have the bile needed to be a political commentator, and preferred for writers to pick the good guys and the bad guys, for nine decades he drew virtually every president of his lifetime, and thanks to Broadway and Hollywood, he got to draw a few more.
Now for the first time, we have gathered 25 pieces that document Hirschfeld’s view of the Oval Office occupants from an early sculpture of Abraham Lincoln to a drawing of the popular television show The West Wing more than eighty years later. Hirschfeld drew the President and any challengers in good times and in bad times, in musicals and in dramas, and in thrillers and comedies. Hirschfeld’s presidential drawings earned him two private visits to the White House, artwork on an aircraft carrier, a copy of LBJ’s State of the Union address, and probably played a role is his receiving a National Medal of the Arts (awarded posthumously in 2003 at the White House). No matter what your party, join Hirschfeld on the campaign trail headed to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.