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Al Hirschfeld:

An Inventory of His Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Hirschfeld, Al, 1903-2003
Title: Al Hirschfeld Collection
Dates: 1951-1982, undated
Extent: 23 items in 23 oversize folders (osf) (0.54 linear feet)
Abstract: The Al Hirschfeld Collection contains twenty-one drawings and two prints of plays, films, and theater personalities. Among the many performers shown are Carol Burnett, Alec Guinness, and Margaret Leighton. Many of the drawings appeared in The New York Times; others were used by film and television studios for publicity purposes. Five drawings were published in the 1982 Limited Editions Club edition of A Streetcar Named Desire.
Call Number: Performing Arts Collection PA-00114
Language: English
Access: Open for research. Researchers must create an online Research Account and agree to the Materials Use Policy before using archival materials.
Use Policies: Ransom Center collections may contain material with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in the collections without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the Ransom Center and The University of Texas at Austin assume no responsibility.
Restrictions on Use: Authorization for publication is given on behalf of the University of Texas as the owner of the collection and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder which must be obtained by the researcher. For more information please see the Ransom Center's Open Access and Use Policies.



Acquisition: Purchases, 1967 (R3487), 2009 (10-06-002-P); 2 drawings transferred from Art Collection, 1 drawing transferred from Crain Collection
Processed by: Esther L. Mes, 2001; Helen Adair, 2006, 2010; Daniela Lozano, 2017
Repository:

The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center


The graphic artist and caricaturist Al Hirschfeld was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1903. Hirschfeld moved to New York City at the age of twelve, and before he was twenty he was creating art for motion picture companies. With the help of his friend Miguel Covarrubias, he perfected a unique drawing style marked by long fluid pen strokes. He studied at the Art Students League (circa 1918), worked for David Selznick (1921) and Warner Brothers (1921-1924), and established a studio in Paris (1924-1925). He became the theater correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune in Moscow (1927-1928), and a freelance artist for The New York Times beginning in 1929. Hirschfeld became famous for his stylized and perceptive caricatures of theater and public personalities. After the birth of his daughter, Nina, in 1945, Hirschfeld concealed her name in almost all of his drawings. A documentary about his life, The Line King: Al Hirschfeld, was released in 1996. Hirschfeld died in 2003 at the age of 99.

The Al Hirschfeld Collection, 1951-1982, undated, contains sixteen drawings and two prints of plays, films, and theater personalities. Many of the drawings appeared in The New York Times; others were used by film and television studios for publicity purposes. Productions represented include The Alamo (film), The Night of the Iguana (stage and film versions), The Rose Tattoo, St. Joan, Waiting for Godot, and West Side Story. Among the many performers shown are Carol Burnett (caricatured as Blanche du Bois in A Streetcar Named Desire), Alec Guinness, and Margaret Leighton. This inventory includes an Index of Subjects which lists each of the individuals depicted in this collection.
A 2006 addition to the Al Hirschfeld Collection contains five drawings published in the 1982 Limited Editions Club edition of A Streetcar Named Desire. This addition is not represented in the Index of Subjects.