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Encyclopedia > Al Hirschfeld
Al Hirschfeld photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1955
Al Hirschfeld photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1955

Albert Hirschfeld (June 21, 1903January 20, 2003) was an American caricaturist, best known for his simple black and white satirical portraits of celebrities and Broadway stars. Al Hirschfeld photographed by Carl Van Vechten, June 28, 1955 From the collection of the Library of Congress and in the public domain: http://memory. ... Al Hirschfeld photographed by Carl Van Vechten, June 28, 1955 From the collection of the Library of Congress and in the public domain: http://memory. ... Photographic self-portrait by Carl Van Vechten, 1934 Carl Van Vechten (June 17, 1880 – December 21, 1964) was an American writer and photographer who was a patron of the Harlem Renaissance and the literary executor of Gertrude Stein. ... June 21 is the 172nd day of the year (173rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 193 days remaining. ... 1903 (MCMIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... January 20 is the 20th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A caricaturist is an artist who specializes in drawing caricatures. ... Broadway theatre[1] is often considered the highest professional form of theatre in the United States. ...

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, he moved with his family to New York City, where he received his art training. In 1924 he traveled to Paris and London, where he studied painting, drawing and sculpture. When he returned to the United States, a friend showed one of his drawings to an editor at the New York Herald Tribune, which got him commissions for that newspaper and the New York Times. Nickname: Gateway City, Gateway to the West, or Mound City Location in the state of Missouri Coordinates: Country United States State Missouri County Independent City Mayor Francis G. Slay (D) Area    - City 66. ... Nickname: Big Apple Location in the state of New York Coordinates: Country United States State New York Boroughs Bronx (The Bronx) New York (Manhattan) Queens (Queens) Kings (Brooklyn) Richmond (Staten Island) Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) Area    - City 1,214. ... 1924 (MCMXXIV) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) Coordinates : Time Zone : CET (GMT +1) Administration Subdivisions 20 arrondissements Département Paris (75) Région ÃŽle-de-France Mayor Bertrand Delanoë (PS) City (commune) Characteristics Land Area 86. ... London (pronounced ) is the capital city of England and of the United Kingdom. ... The New York Herald Tribune was a newspaper created in 1924 when the New York Tribune acquired the New York Herald. ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ...

Hirschfeld's art style is unique, and he is considered to be one of the most important figures in contemporary caricature, having influenced countless cartoonists. Hirschfeld's caricatures are almost always drawings of pure line, with simple black ink on white paper, with little to no shading or cross-hatching. His drawings always manage to capture a likeness using the minimum number of lines. Though his caricatures often exaggerate and distort the faces of his subjects, he is often described as being a fundamentally "nicer" caricaturist than many of his contemporaries, and being drawn by Hirschfeld was considered an honor more than an insult. Nonetheless he did face some complaints from his editors over the years; in a late-'90s interview with The Comics Journal, Hirschfeld recounted how one editor told him his drawings of Broadway's "beautiful people" looked like "a bunch of animals". Hirschfeld generally dismissed these complaints, and most observers would agree that time proved him right. The Comics Journal is an American magazine of news and criticism pertaining to comic books and strips. ...

During Hirschfeld's nearly eight-decade career, he gained fame by illustrating the entire casts of various Broadway plays, which would appear to accompany reviews in the Times. Though this was Hirschfeld's best known field of interest, he also would draw politicians, TV stars, and celebrities of all stripes from Cole Porter, the Nordstrom Sisters to the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation. He expanded his audience by contributing to the Patrick F. McManus humor column in Outdoor Life magazine for a number of years. Hirschfeld started young and continued drawing to the end of his life, thus chronicling nearly all the major entertainment figures of the 20th Century. Hirschfeld drew some of the original movie posters for Charlie Chaplin's films, as well as The Wizard of Oz. A New York segment in the Disney film Fantasia 2000 was inspired by his designs. He was the subject of the documentary film, The Line King. Cole Albert Porter (June 9, 1891 – October 15, 1964) was an American composer and songwriter from Indiana. ... The Nordstrom Sisters were an American sister act from 1931 – 1976 Billed as society performers, these international cabaret singers were often styled as The Misses Nordstrom or introduced as those Park Avenue darlings, the Nordstrom Sisters. ... The title as it appeared in most episodes opening credits. ... Patrick F. McManus (born August 25, 1933) is an American outdoor humor writer. ... Outdoor Life is an outdoors magazine featuring hunting, fishing, survival and camping skills. ... For other persons named Chaplin, see Chaplin (disambiguation). ... The Wizard of Oz may refer to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, 1900 book by L. Frank Baum, or any of its numerous adaptations, the most famous being the 1939 film version starring Judy Garland. ... Official language(s) English de facto Capital Albany Largest city New York City Area  Ranked 27th  - Total 54,520 sq mi (141,205 km²)  - Width 285 miles (455 km)  - Length 330 miles (530 km)  - % water 13. ... Disney may refer to: The Walt Disney Company and its divisions, including Walt Disney Pictures. ... Fantasia 2000 is the thirty-eighth animated feature in the Disney animated features canon. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

Hirschfeld is known for hiding the name of his daughter, Nina, in most of the drawings he produced since her birth in 1945. The name would appear in a sleeve, in a hairdo, or somewhere in the background. Sometimes "NINA" would show up more than once and Hirschfeld would helpfully add a number next to his signature, to let people know how many times her name would appear. Hirschfeld originally intended the NINA gag to be a one-time gimmick but it soon spiraled out of control. Though the NINAs were a popular feature in his cartoons, with many enjoying the game of searching for them, on more than one occasion Hirschfeld would lament that the gimmick had overshadowed his art. On occasion he did try to discontinue the practice, but such attempts always generated harsh criticism. Nina herself was reportedly somewhat ambivalent about all the attention. In the previously mentioned interview with The Comics Journal, Hirschfeld confirmed the urban legend that the US Army had used his cartoons to train bomber pilots, with the soldiers trying to spot the NINAs much as they would spot their targets. Hirschfeld told the magazine he found the idea repulsive, saying that he felt his cartoons were being used to help kill people. A gimmick is a unique or quirky special feature that makes something stand out from its contemporaries. ... The Comics Journal is an American magazine of news and criticism pertaining to comic books and strips. ... Urban legends are a kind of folklore consisting of stories often thought to be factual by those circulating them (see rumor). ... The Army is the branch of the United States armed forces which has primary responsibility for land-based military operations. ...

Hirschfeld collaborated with humorist S. J. Perelman on several projects, including Westward Ha! Or, Around the World in 80 Cliches, a satirical look at the duo's travels on assignment for Holiday magazine. Sidney Joseph Perelman, almost always known as S. J. Perelman (February 1, 1904 – October 17, 1979), was a United States humorist, author, and screenwriter. ...

In 1991, the United States Postal Service commissioned Hirschfeld to draw a series of postage stamps commemorating famous American comedians. The collection included drawings of Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Edgar Bergen (with Charlie McCarthy), Jack Benny, Fanny Brice, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. He followed that up with a collection of silent film stars including Rudolph Valentino, ZaSu Pitts and Buster Keaton. The Postal Service allowed him to include Nina's name in his drawings, waiving their own rule forbidding hidden messages in United States stamp designs. A previous USPS logo The United States Postal Service (USPS) is an independent establishment of the executive branch of the United States government (see ) responsible for providing postal service in the United States; it is generally referred to within the United States as the post office. ... A selection of Hong Kong postal stamps A postage stamp is evidence of pre-paying a fee for postal services. ... Arthur Stanley Jefferson (June 16, 1890 – February 23, 1965), better known as Stan Laurel was a comic actor, writer and director, famous as part of the comedy double act Laurel and Hardy, whose career stretched from the silent films of the early 20th Century until post-World War II. // Early... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Edgar John Bergen (February 16, 1903 – September 30, 1978) was an American actor and radio performer, best known as a ventriloquist. ... Edgar John Bergen (February 16, 1903 _ September 30, 1978) was an American actor and radio performer, best known as a ventriloquist. ... Jack Benny (born Benjamin Kubelsky, February 14, 1894 – December 26, 1974), an American comedian, vaudeville performer, and radio, television, and film actor, was one of the biggest stars in classic American radio and was also a major television personality. ... Fanny Brice, early Ziegfeld Follies portrait photograph // Biography Fanny Brice (October 29, 1891 – May 29, 1951) was a United States comedienne, singer, and entertainer. ... William Alexander “Bud” Abbott (October 2, 1897 – April 24, 1974) is a legendary American actor, producer and comedian born in Asbury Park, New Jersey. ... Louis Francis Cristillo aka Lou Costello (March 6, 1906 - March 3, 1959), was an American actor and comedian best known as half of the comedy team of Abbott and Costello, with Bud Abbott. ... Rudolph Valentino (May 6, 1895 – August 23, 1926) was an Italian actor. ... Zazu Pitts (1894-1963) sporting her famous bob hairstyle ZaSu Pitts (January 3, 1894–June 7, 1963) was a United States movie actress. ... Joseph Frank Keaton Jr. ...

Permanent collections of Hirschfeld's work appear at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The central lobby of the museum The Metropolitan Museum of Art, often referred to simply as The Met, is one of the worlds largest and most important art museums, located on the eastern edge of Central Park in Manhattan, New York, United States. ... View across garden, in new MoMA building by Yoshio Taniguchi. ...

Hirschfeld has a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame. The St. ...

Hirschfeld is also noted for his self-depicted caricarture in one of the Absolut Vodka ads, joining world famous artists such as painter Andy Warhol and glass artist Hans Godo Frabel. For more info, see the Absolut Vodka Artists website Absolut Vodka is a Swedish brand of vodka, owned by V&S Group, and produced at their facilities near Åhus, Skåne in southern Sweden. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Hans Godo Frabel Hans Godo Frabel (b. ...

He died of natural causes at his home in New York City at the age of 99 on January 20, 2003. His late wife, Broadway actress/performer Dolly Haas, mother of Nina, died of ovarian cancer in 1994 at the age of 84, and he never lost his anger over her painful death.

In addition to Hirschfeld's celebrated talents, his artistic longevity is truly remarkable. Well into his '90s, long after most artists have retired, Hirschfeld was still drawing professionally with no appreciable decline in his skills. He also remained remarkably lucid, and his strongly held opinions and wide-ranging experiences made him something of a historical treasure trove for interviewers.

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Al Hirschfeld Theatre (548 words)
The Al Hirschfeld Theatre is located on the south side of West 45th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.
The Martin Beck Theatre (Later renamed to the Al Hirschfeld Theatre) was opened in 1924 by the famous vaudeville impresario Martin Beck.
The restrooms at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre are downstairs and the concession stand is on main level.
Al Hirschfeld Biography (1371 words)
Al Hirschfeld is a child prodigy who grew old but never up.
Hirschfeld drew her name in the background of the theatrical drawing, for the play Are You With It, that he did that day.
Hirschfeld met S.J. Perelman in Paris in 1929 and that relationship survived a collaborative and abortive effort in the early 40's as playwrights.
  More results at FactBites »



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