Hirschfeld's Icons

» Casa de Campo, La Romona, Dominican Republic
Exhibition Dates: 
Fri, 2024-02-02 to Sat, 2024-03-02
“To be a star on Broadway is to have one’s name in lights, yes, but it is also, and more significantly, to be drawn by Hirschfeld.”

The twentieth century was often called the American Century, but in the world of popular culture it was the Hirschfeld Century, an eighty-two-year era in which Al Hirschfeld both recorded and defined so much of popular culture, especially through his drawings of performers and productions on Broadway and in Hollywood. For newspapers, magazines, film studios, and theater producers, Hirschfeld created iconic images of celebrities and entertainments. He was there at the birth of television and captured its first half-century. In his vivid drawings, he recorded more popular music than any mp3, CD, LP, or wax cylinder ever did.

Hirschfeld’s drawings, with their immediacy and almost trademark quality, often became the image performers were striving to become. His portraits, according to one fellow artist, looked more like the performer than the performers actually did. And that is Hirscheld’s genius—capturing the essence of his subjects. His images of performers and so many others have often become the definitive representations of these icons.

In this exhibition, we focus on 25 icons from the worlds of theater, film, music, dance, and television—a tour de force of some of the greatest entertainers of the last 100 years as depicted by the court artist of the performing arts, Al Hirschfeld.

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