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Al Hirschfeld papers, 1931-1983

Hirschfeld, Al, 1903-2003


This site provides access to the papers of Al Hirschfeld in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2010. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 1,004 images.

Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Collection Information

Size: 0.9 Linear feet

Summary: The collection measures 0.9 linear feet, dates from 1931-1983, and documents the career of caricaturist Al Hirschfeld. Found within the papers are letters, business records, writings, artwork, printed material, and photographs.
Letters are from friends and colleagues, and the subjects of Hirschfeld's drawings. A small majority of letters are from Brooks Atkinson, John Mason Brown, Edward Chodorov, Beauford Delaney, Roger K. Fruse, and Charles F. Lowe. Additional correspondents for which there are one or two letters are listed in the series description that follows.
Business records include a receipt for artwork delivered, a notice of probate on the will of Billy Rose, a loan agreement from the Studio Museum in Harlem for a work by Beauford Delaney, and a contract from The Franklin Library for a portrait of Mencken. Writings by Hirschfeld consist of brief typescripts of film and theater critiques.
Artwork consists of a sketchbook of caricatures of theater performers, a sketchbook of images from travel to Japan, loose sketches, and drawings by children inspired by a visit to see Hirschfeld.
Also found within the papers are 11 folders of clippings, posters, and miscellaneous printed material. Photographs are of Hirschfeld, his wife, and a drawing.

Biographical/Historical Note

Albert Hirschfeld was born on June 21, 1903 in St. Louis, Missouri, the youngest of the three sons of Isaac Hirschfeld and his Russian-born wife Rebecca.


The Al Hirschfeld papers were donated in 1983 by Al Hirschfeld and his dealer, George J. Goodstadt.


Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.