November 9, 2022


This fall, the theater and art worlds celebrate The American Theatre As Seen By Hirschfeld with a stunning new 256-page book and a new exhibition launching the opening of the new Museum of Broadway in Times Square. David Leopold, Creative Director of The Al Hirschfeld Foundation is curator of the exhibition and editor of the new book.


The American Theatre as seen by Hirschfeld 1962-2002 showcases Hirschfeld’s greatest theater work from five decades, including some of the most important productions from the last sixty years such as Hello Dolly!, Fiddler on the Roof, Funny Girl, Cabaret, Annie, Sweeney Todd, Les Misérables, Fences, Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, Rent, Angels in America, and Hairspray. This collection takes you backstage with portraits including Stephen Sondheim, Neil Simon, Edward Albee, Wendy Wasserstein, Tom Stoppard, and Hal Prince. With something for every type of theatergoer, this is the book theater lovers have been waiting for. Now for the first time, nearly 300 Hirschfeld drawings are collected in one volume that both shows and tells the story of nearly a half century of the American Theatre, most of which have never been collected in a book before.


When a first volume of The American Theatre As Seen by Hirschfeld was published in 1961, Hirschfeld himself designed and curated the book, featuring 250 works from the first 40 years of his career. It was Al Hirschfeld’s favorite collection, as it was for fans, garnering rave reviews, printing several editions, and is still highly prized by collectors today. Just before Hirschfeld died in 2003, he planned a sequel that would cover the other 40 years of his career, but the project was shelved with his passing …until now.


Edited by David Leopold, Creative Director of The Al Hirschfeld Foundation, The American Theatre as seen by Hirschfeld 1962-2002 is inspired by the artist’s original design and curation of the initial volume. The new edition features a foreword by Michael Kimmelman, and chapter introductions by Brooks Atkinson, Brendan Gill, Maureen Dowd, Terrence McNally and Jules Feiffer. This is the largest collection of Hirschfeld’s theatre work that has ever been published.


Available exclusively online now and at The Museum of Broadway starting November 15, The American Theatre as seen by Hirschfeld 1962-2002 is now available for preorder online at and will be on Amazon starting November 15.


“No one saw more opening nights on Broadway than Hirschfeld, and both the new exhibition and book show his archive of drawings as a contemporaneous account of the productions and performers who helped shaped our popular culture over much of the 20th century, and into the 21st,” says Leopold. “Here we are, 75 years after the first book collection of Hirschfeld work was printed, and 20 years after Hirschfeld's final drawing for The New York Times, yet Hirschfeld’s work continues to be as popular as ever with theater fans. Some may remember seeing the production Hirschfeld drew on stage. Younger theatre fans may see Hirschfeld’s art as their portal into theater history. Al Hirschfeld would be thrilled to know that his The American Theatre As Seen by Hirschfeld would come to fruition with a final edition at last, and honored to see his work exhibited as an inaugural exhibition at the long-anticipated opening of The Museum of Broadway.”


Watch a video about the book


The American Theatre as seen by Hirschfeld 1962-2002

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