The American Theatre as Seen by Hirschfeld: 1928–1961

Applause. Sept. 2023. 280p. ed. by David Leopold. ISBN 9781493077243. $60. THEATER
In the first of this impressive two-volume set, Al Hirschfeld Foundation creative director and editor Leopold has chronologically assembled the canon of the award-winning caricaturist of the Broadway theater Al Hirschfeld (1903–2003). This work (originally published in 1961) covers more than 30 years, with most of the drawings introduced by Hirschfeld himself. Each drawing has a caption identifying the subject, date, and, in some cases, the production source material for the illustration. Not all the art is from Hirschfeld’s 75-year career with the New York Times. The book also includes beautiful art he created for the Works Project Administration and International Ladies Garment Workers productions in the 1930s, plus his creations for famous performances by Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, Fanny Brice, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, and others. After the birth of his daughter Nina in 1945, Hirschfeld introduced her name surreptitiously into many of his drawings, which became a signature of his work for decades. In addition to the Broadway productions, including his instantly recognizable art for My Fair Lady, there are posters and advertisements for other landmark performing arts events.
VERDICT Packed with iconic artwork, this is an essential purchase.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing