Hirschfeld's Harlem by Al Hirschfeld
Manhattan's Legendary Artist Illustrates This Legendary City Within a City

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(Applause Books). Decades before the PBS documentaries, before Bill Clinton, Al Hirschfeld went to Harlem. No artist ever captured Harlem's dangerous highs and bluesy lows like this Master of the Performing Curve. Hirschfeld began his artistic Harlem odyssey six decades ago, charting that legendary New York neighborhood's special rhythms and moods in splashy feverish hues. Hirschfeld's Harlem opens onto a special portfolio of these full-color works, a pictorial essay of the Swing Era. Wynton Marsalis, Quincy Jones, Lena Horne and Harry Belafonte, among a dozen other Harlem artists and critics, supply accompanying commentary, reminiscences and analysis each voice focusing on one portrait. Then it's back to Hirschfeld in his signature black and white takes on forty Harlem artists and public figures: Gregory Hines, Duke Ellington, James Earl Jones, Ethel Waters and dozens more all have been caught in the creative act by one of our greatest artists. Each drawing is accompanied by a thumbnail narrative by Hirschfeld about the most famous inhabitants and transients of these fabled streets. Hirschfeld's Harlem opens a picture window into nearly a century of Black American artistry and life.

About Al Hirschfeld

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AL HIRSCHFELD has been designated a "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress. The United States Post Office has issued fifteen stamps with Hirschfeld drawings. He is the recipient of two Tony awards for Lifetime Achievement. His work has been prominently featured in The New York Times for nearly 75 years. He has been represented in exhibitions at major art museums and institutions, including the Smithsonian's National Portrait gallery. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and The Museum of the City of New York. His Hirschfeld On Line was published by Applause Books (see page 26). An Armenian American with little formal education, Saroyan was a dramatist who disparaged the usual conventions of the form: "Plot, atmosphere, style, and all the rest of it," he wrote, "may be regarded as so much nonsense" (Three Times Three). His plays have been criticized as formless and his writing as undisciplined; yet his work is imbued with fondness for the human race and contains an infectious enthusiasm for society's misfits and innocents. Saroyan's dramatic career was launched with My Heart's in the Highlands (1939), a fantasy. The following year, The Time of Your Life (1939) was awarded the Pulitzer Prize---which Saroyan publicly refused on the grounds that commerce had no right to patronize art. This play, undoubtedly Saroyan's one enduring piece, takes place in a waterfront saloon where vivid characters wander in and out to come into contact with the philosophical Joe, a man of unending generosity. Gail Lumet Buckley is a journalist and the daughter of Lena Horne. Her family history -- "The Hornes" -- became an "American Masters "documentary, and she narrated a documentary on black American families for PBS. She has written for the "Los Angeles Times," "Vogue," the "New York Daily News," and "The New York Times," She lives in New York.
Published December 1, 2003 by Glenn Young Books/Applause. 128 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Comics & Graphic Novels, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography, Travel, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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It's a thin line between essence-capturing caricature and insulting cartoon, particularly when it comes to race, so it takes as practiced and bighearted an artist as Hirschfeld (1903–2003), whose caricatures of various cultural figures graced the pages of the New York Times for decades, to take ...

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Mrs. Hirschfeld has convened the first-ever reunion of actors, directors, playwrights, politicians, publicans, musicians, enough to gloriously fill a new volume populated with nearly eight decades of Hirschfeld on Great Britain, or as we have come to think of it, Hirschfeld's British Aisles!

Sep 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Hirschfeld's Harlem: Manhatta...

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