The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts pays tribute to Al Hirschfeld and marks the 100th anniversary of his birth with Centennial Salute to Al Hirschfeld, a display of 10 of the artist’s specially-commissioned works on view June 20 through August 29, 2003. Hirschfeld, whose singular drawings captured American theater for the greater part of a century, died in January of this year. In the early 1970s, Hirschfeld was given a commission to commemorate a series of Pulitzer Prize-winning plays. For each play, he drew a scene from the show and also created a collage with a portrait of the playwright and the cast pages from the original Playbill. All of the drawings included in the show are signed, and the scenes from the plays incorporate Hirschfeld’s signature Ninas.
The 10 pieces on display represent five plays: Men in White by Sidney S. Kingsley, 1933; You Can't Take It with You by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, 1936; Abe Lincoln in Illinois by Robert Sherwood, 1938; A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennesee Williams, 1947; and Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, 1949. The drawings were donated to the Library’s Billy Rose Theatre Collection by the late Harold Steinberg, who, with his wife Miriam, also endowed the dance and drama reading room and the Library’s Shelby Cullom Davis Museum.
Centennial Salute to Al Hirschfeld is on view June 20 through August 29 in the Plaza Lobby of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York. Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 12 noon to 6pm; Thursday from 12 noon to 8pm; closed Sundays, Mondays, and holidays. Admission is free. For further information, telephone 212-870-1630 or visit the Library’s website.