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New York Comics & Picture-Story Symposium: David Leopold on Hirschfeld By The Book – 9/12, 7PM

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TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2017 AT 7:00 PM
The Bark Room (Orientation Room)
Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
2 West 13th Street, Room M101
New York, NY 10011

Al Hirschfeld has virtually been synonymous with caricature since he published his first portraits for Warner Brothers films in April 1925. His first theatrical drawing was in December 1926, and he would continue to draw the theater for New York newspapers, magazines, posters and programs for the next 76 years. Simultaneously, he both recorded and defined Hollywood for nine decades in images and posters that are as iconic as the films themselves. He was there at the birth of television and captured its first half-century, creating more covers for TV Guide than any other artist. He recorded more popular music than any MP3, CD, LP, or wax cylinder ever did, with a handful of his album covers, from the cast album of My Fair Lady to Aerosmith’s Draw The Line, becoming landmarks of 20th century graphic design.

Join David Leopold as he reveals how Hirschfeld also left his mark in the world of literature. Books that Hirschfeld authored allowed him to explore the world outside of performance, and he collaborated on a series of books with S. J Perelman, including one that took the two friends around the world. His illustrations enlivened books by Fred Allen, Garson Kanin, William Saroyan, Brooks Atkinson and John Mason Brown, while other illustrated books covered topics as diverse as the Algonquin Round Table to the Johnson White House. Leopold will also share images and stories from unpublished works including books on the Russian theater and film scene in the 1920s, a history of the African impact on the Bahamas and even a book on Nina, his daughter whose name he hid in almost all of his drawings after her birth in 1945.

David Leopold is an author and curator who has organized exhibitions for institutions around the country including the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, the Norman Rockwell Museum at Stockbridge, and the Field Museum in Chicago. Internationally, he has curated shows for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Filmmuseum in Frankfurt and Berlin. He organized the archive of Al Hirschfeld’s work for the artist, visiting Hirschfeld in his studio at least once a week for thirteen years until the artist’s death in 2003. Leopold is now the Creative Director for the Al Hirschfeld Foundation. His latest book, The Hirschfeld Century: A Portrait of the Artist and His Age, published by Alfred A. Knopf to coincide with a major retrospective that Leopold curated for the New York Historical Society has won universal acclaim. The Washington Post called it an “instant classic,” and Amazon selected it for its “Top Books of 2015.” His other books include David Levine’s American Presidents (Fantagraphics, 2008); Irving Berlin’s Show Business: Broadway-Hollywood-America, (Harry N. Abrams, 2005 and listed as a “Top Gift Pick” by the Boston Globe and New York Times); Hirschfeld’s Hollywood (Abrams, 2001). He has also authored a number of monographs on underappreciated artists for various museums.

Presented by The New School’s Parsons School of Design. 

The full fall schedule for The New York Comics & Picture-Story Symposium can be found here.

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