Thursday, October 07, 2004

Historic auction for show folks: Hirschfeld at Swann Gallereries

On October 7, Swann will offer at auction The Work of Al Hirschfeld, the prolific illustrator whose drawings graced the pages of the New York Times for nearly 75 years, captured the faces and personalities of performing artists in his singular style. Swann Galleries will be holding their second auction devoted entirely to The Work of Al Hirschfeld. Musical theater enthusiasts will cherish the charming depictions of productions from classics like Guys & Dolls, Gypsy and Hello Dolly! to contemporary shows such as Kiss of the Spider Woman and Rent; while rock and rollers will be drawn to portraits of Elvis, The Grateful Dead, Mick Jagger and Neil Young. Television addicts will find a selection of drawings and etchings spanning the history of the medium, from the early days of Lucille Ball, The Honeymooners, and Dragnet, to the contemporary Sopranos, Jay Leno, and Seinfeld. There are portraits of iconic performers including a dancing Fred Astaire, sultry young Marlon Brando, Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, Judy Garland, Audrey Hepburn circa Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra.

Hello Dolly! Pearl Bailey and Carol Channing

The “View all lots” link is worth its weight in golden pixie pixels. Sorry I missed a glim of the first auction. It’s a great way to drop $2K to $15K, if any ACT members just can’t stand the thought of being solvent . . .


I think I knew Hirschfeld’s drawings before I knew what theatre was—say about 1952, when I could read Campbell’s Soup cans and was beginning to get curious about the huge newspaper Dad brought home every Sunday, called the New York Times. In that vast array of newsprint spread over the living-room floor, two things stood out to a four-year-old’s eye: the Times’s black-letter “flag” ? and the Hirschfeld caricature that always stood at the head of the arts section. WHO were these people and how come they looked like that?  I’m sure such memories are not mine alone. It was, as they say, an education.




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Posted by webmaster on 10/07 at 02:19 PM
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