Hirschfeld, Albert (1903—)

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Hirschfeld, Albert (1903—)

Since 1927 Al Hirschfeld's instantly recognizable pen-and-ink drawings for the New York Times have chronicled the worlds of theater, film, television (when it came along), and indeed virtually every area of performance based artistry in the last three-quarters of the twentieth century. His mastery of the sinuous line to reveal the essence of a performer or role remains undiminished. Calling himself not a caricaturist but a "characterist," Hirschfeld has relied on wit and humor, never malice, to bring life to his subjects and a smile to the faces of those who read the New York Times. Since the birth of his daughter Nina in 1945, Hirschfeld has regularly hidden her name in the folds of clothing or elsewhere, prompting many admirers to an even closer reading of his eloquent drawings. Energy unabated, he produced in 1991 the designs for a set of United States postage stamps honoring great American humorists, while in its final 1997-1998 season he drew a set of TV Guide covers featuring the stars of Seinfeld.

—Craig Bunch

Further Reading:

Hirschfeld, Al. Hirschfeld: Art and Recollections from Eight Decades. New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1991.