Those who think in black and white are buzzing about the newly opened The Hirschfeld Century: The Art of Al Hirschfeld at the New-York Historical Society. During his jaw-dropping 75 years as a New York Times linesman, Hirschfeld’s inimitable renderings captured the essence of his boldface subjects — actors, musicians, artists, dancers and other cultural denizens — with an added helping of wit. Not surprisingly, collectors clamored for his original drawings. A cool 100 of them are on view — a sly wink to the number of years he lived. Look for Ella Fitzgerald, Ringo Starr and Hirschfeld’s timeless self-portrait from 1985 for starters.
But why is Overnight New York bringing this up, aside from pointing you in the direction of an intriguing show? There’s a hotel connection. Last winter the storied Algonguin lobby was transformed into a Hirschfeld salon with an exhibition of 25 drawings, all with connections to the hotel and its fabled Vicious Circle (Dorothy Parker, Harold Ross, Alexander Woolcott, et al) of which Hirschfeld was an almost peripheral member.
For our take on this amuse bouche to The Hirschfeld Century, read on.