The graphic artist and caricaturist Al Hirschfeld was born in St. Louis, Missouri,
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
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), then worked for
The New York Times from 1929. A consummate
traveler, he was famous for his stylized and perceptive caricatures of theater
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 passed away in 2003.
The Al Hirschfeld Collection, 1951-1965, undated, contains sixteen drawings and two
prints of plays, films, and theater personalities. Many of the drawings appeared
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
A Streetcar Named Desire), Alec Guinness, and
Margaret Leighton. This inventory includes an Index of Subjects which lists each
the individuals depicted in this collection.