The new Museum of Broadway in Times Square has announced that its inaugural special exhibition, “The American Theatre As Seen By Hirschfeld,” has been extended, by popular demand. Visitors can now view the exhibit, featuring nine-decades of Al Hirschfeld’s iconic artwork, through April 30.
Curated by David Leopold, Creative Director of The Al Hirschfeld Foundation, “The American Theatre As Seen By Hirschfeld,” was created exclusively for the Museum of Broadway, and features twenty-five drawings and prints from 1928 to 2002. Visitors will be brought face to face with his original productions of Fiddler on the Roof, The Phantom of the Opera, The King and I, Sunday in the Park with George, Funny Girl, Ragtime, and Beauty and the Beast, among others. Two exhibition walls are dedicated to Hirschfeld’s theatre posters, programs and album covers. Visitors will see a replica of Hirschfeld’s barber chair, where he drew all the finished drawings in his career, as well as a selection of sketchbooks that he used to record his initial impressions of shows in out-of-town tryouts and previews. Portraits of Meryl Streep, Julie Andrews, Stephen Sondheim, Liza Minnelli and John Leguizamo, many of them signed by their subjects, will also be on display, and visitors will have the chance to create a Hirschfeld portrait of themselves with a new app created exclusively for this exhibition.
“Al Hirschfeld would have been honored to see his work exhibited as an inaugural exhibition at the long-anticipated opening of The Museum of Broadway, and we could not be more thrilled that this special, inaugural exhibition has been extended to run into the spring,” said Leopold. “No one saw more opening nights on Broadway than Hirschfeld, the new exhibit shows his archive of drawings as a contemporaneous account of the productions and performers who helped to shape our popular culture over much of the 20th century, and into the 21st. Whether theatre fans remember seeing the production Hirschfeld drew on stage or see Hirschfeld’s art as their portal into theater history, Hirschfeld’s work continues to be as popular as ever.”
Released in conjunction with launch of the new exhibition, the new book The American Theatre as seen by Hirschfeld 1962-2002 showcases Hirschfeld’s greatest theater work with nearly 300 drawings from the last sixty years, including productions such as Hello Dolly!, Fiddler on the Roof, Funny Girl, Cabaret, Annie, Sweeney Todd, Les Misérables, Fences, Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, Rent, Angels in America, and Hairspray and portraits including Stephen Sondheim, Neil Simon, Edward Albee, Wendy Wasserstein, Tom Stoppard, and Hal Prince. In 1961, Hirschfeld himself designed and curated a first volume of The American Theatre As Seen by Hirschfeld with 250 works from the first 40 years of his career. It was Al Hirschfeld’s favorite collection, as it was for fans, garnering rave reviews, printing several editions, and still highly prized by collectors today. Just before Hirschfeld died in 2003, he planned a sequel that would cover the other 40 years of his career, but the project was shelved with his passing …until now. Edited by David Leopold, The American Theatre as seen by Hirschfeld 1962-2002 features a foreword by Michael Kimmelman, and chapter introductions by Brooks Atkinson, Brendan Gill, Maureen Dowd, Terrence McNally and Jules Feiffer. This is the largest collection of Hirschfeld’s theatre work that has ever been published.
The American Theatre as seen by Hirschfeld 1962-2002 is now available exclusively at The Museum of Broadway and online here.