“I have nothing but the

highest praise for his (George’s)

integrity and the quality of the excellent prints which his atelier produced over the years.”

                   - Al Hirschfeld

Al Hirschfeld was born in St Louis, Missouri in 1903. When his talent as an artist emerged at an early age, the family was urged by his art teachers to move to New York to further his education. The family closed  their candy store, packed up their belongings and the rest is art and theatre history.

 

With his art, he delighted our eyes and made us smile. For Al Hirschfeld, simplicity was the hallmark of beauty and he transformed caricature into a noble craft. (Or, as he referred to it - “characterture“.)

 

Since the late 1920’s, Hirschfeld was a familiar fixture as “artist-on-the-aisles“ of the theatre districts. With his sprightly expression and flowing Talmudic beard, one might think of him as a cross between Kris Kringle and Moses. For over 75 years, theatre fans would delight in his drawings in the New York Times to see who had been “Hirschfelded” that week and to play the game of “finding NINA” in his drawings; a habit that started in 1945 when Al and his wife, Dolly Haas’, daughter Nina was born.

 

Al Hirschfeld and George J. Goodstadt met in 1969 at George’s Bank Street Atelier in New York City,

where Al came to use the renowned lithographic presses.

The two became fast friends and had a long and rewarding professional relationship, as well as a warm and trusting personal friendship. George commissioned Pen and Ink drawings and published many Limited Edition Lithographs and Etchings of his work from 1975 until 2002. These drawings and prints are now exclusively available here online at the Goodstadt Gallery.

 

We do not sell Giclées or any other reproductions.

 

George passed away in 2002, and on April 20, 2002

 Al Hirschfeld wrote:

 

“Since 1970 I have had a long-standing professional relationship with the late George J. Goodstadt, publisher of fine arts. He commissioned pen and ink drawings, published pencil signed and numbered etchings and lithographs of my drawings.

 

During the period of our collaboration, I had nothing but the highest praise for his integrity and the quality of th excellent prints which his atelier produced over the years. They are all authentic.

 

I shall continue my association with the Gallery in Ridgefield, CT. under the stewardship of Alexandra Goodstadt and her associates. I have the greatest confidence that the Gallery will continue to sell my artwork in the atmosphere of understanding and care which George maintained over the last 32 years.

 

Sincereley,

Al Hirschfeld”

 

Al Hirschfeld passed away in 2003, but not before learning that the Martin Beck Theatre would be renamed the Al Hirschfeld Theatre in his honor. He was also honored with two special Tony Awards, awarded the Medal of  Arts from the National Endowment of the Arts and inducted into the Academy of Arts and Letters. He was declared a Living Landmark by the New York City Landmarks Commission in 1996 and a Living Legend by the Library of Congress in 2000.

 

Today, you can find Al Hirschfeld’s art in the collections of many distinguished museums, including the Metropolitan, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney, the National Portrait Gallery, Harvard University’s Fogg Museum, the Smithsonian and the Library of Congress.

 

He sat in his studio on the fourth floor of his townhouse on 95th Street in his barber chair by the large window and drew all day long, each day of the week. Magically combining the blank whiteness of his illustration board with the nimble tip of a crow quill pen, he conjured up a dazzling, kaleidoscopic pageant of American entertainment history.

 

We are grateful for his artistic genius and prolific life’s work. “The Line King’s” art will always live with us and with all future generations to come.

 

Al Hirschfeld and Louise Kerz married in 1996. She, a long time friend, became his inseparable companion in life and on the “aisles.”  Now, the President of the Al Hirschfeld Foundation, she works tirelessly and with pleasure alongside the Foundation’s Creative Director, David Leopold, with the goal of making the Foundation’s resources available to many nonprofit organizations, museums, schools and The Actors Fund health clinics. They curate exhibitions of his works to galleries and museums throughout the world, thus continuing the legacy of Al Hirschfeld.

 

David Leopold wrote:

“I am happy to vouch for the authenticity of Hirschfeld prints published and sold by George and Alex Goodstadt. They are the genuine article, and in my opinion, some of the best print work he did in the second half of his career.

 

The men became close and Al often consulted with George regarding business decisions. He had hoped that George would guide the efforts of what would happen to his work after he died, but tragically, George died a year before Al.

 

All the best,

David Leopold”

 Creative Director - The Al Hirschfeld Foundation

 

Please visit www.alhirschfeldfoundation.org to find out more about his life.

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Al Hirschfeld  (1903 - 2003)

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