The Al Hirschfeld Foundation has just learned that never before available works by legendary artist Al Hirschfeld (1903 - 2003) are featured in a January 24 Swann Galleries auction.
"This collection of Hirschfeld artwork represented in this auction is a veritable 40 year slice of Al's career," says Hirschfeld Foundation archivist David Leopold. "It covers the theater of course, but also television, film, dance, and literature. These drawings capture not only historic moments, but are as relevant as today's tweet, with his take on Pippin appearing in this sale just before the show's first revival on Broadway. His caricatures almost always were published right before a show's opening, so the tradition continues even ten years later."
"I was also dumbstruck to see the original 1936 portrait of Fanny Brice parodying Martha Graham in the Ziegfeld Follies," says Leopold. "Hirschfeld gave the work to Bernard Sobel, a classic Broadway press agent who kept a collection of what Al describes in his inscription as 'Ziegfeldiana.' There's also an important Katharine Hepburn piece and a snapshot of the "Upper West Side Intelligentsia" circa 1971 at Zabars. All but one of these drawings have been in private hands almost since the day they were drawn, acquired directly from Hirschfeld, so this is a once in a lifetime event. I wish we had them in the the Foundation's collection."
Eight rare works by Hirschfeld altogether are in the auction of original illustrations, cartoons original illustrations, cartoons, dust jacket designs and sketches by iconic artists including Charles Addams, Ludwig Bemelmans, Disney Studios, Dr. Seuss, Edward Gorey, Charles M. Schulz, James Thurber and others.
The auction will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 24.