Hirschfeld's New York
Al Hirschfeld has received numerous awards and accolades including a special Tony Award in 1983; designation as a "Living Landmark of New York City" in 1996; and recognition as a "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress in 2000. His work is instantly recognizable. His line art is synonymous with theater, Broadway, and New York City. Over the past eight decades the effect of his work on the City and the world beyond has been often examined. It is the impact of the City on his work that is the focus of the exhibition at The Museum of the City of New York entitled Hirschfeld's New York, the first major museum exhibition of Hirschfeld's work in New York City, which runs through January 27, 2002.
The exhibition positions Hirschfeld as observer, looking at New York City and responding to the stimuli around him. In his works, the City is muse and its influence resonates throughout the arc of his career, as he chronicles the evolution and growth of the place he has called home for most of his ninety-eight years.
Featuring a combination of seventy-five of his rarely seen works as well as some of his most popular drawings, Hirschfeld's New York is the first exhibition to examine the subject of the City in Hirschfeld's oeuvre. Often overshadowed by his work in the theater, Hirschfeld's eyewitness accounts of everyday aspects of life in New York City offer an insightful look into the energy of the City. From 1930s speakeasies to the nightclubs of Harlem and Greenwich Village and the haunts of New York's literati, Hirschfeld captures the vitality and dynamics that constitute New York.
A fully illustrated catalogue by the same title, Hirschfeld's New York, has been published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc. in conjunction with the exhibition. Written by Clare Bell and with an introduction by Frank Rick of The New York Times, the catalogue features 109 illustrations, 10 in full color, that encapsulate the City's past and present.
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