Mar 2, 2022
Celebrate Black History in Popular Culture

"marian anderson"

So much of American popular culture is the work of Black artists. One of the original art forms that America can take credit for is jazz, which was created by Black musicians. Rock and roll began with White performers re-recording songs by Black performers. Even the acclaimed musical comedy, another American original, draws as much from Black performers and minstrel shows, as it does from European operettas. As the 20th Century unfolded, Hirschfeld's drawings captured a great deal of the impact Black artists had on the performing arts in America.

His early drawings of Black performers can be offensive to our eyes in the 21st Century, but they unfortunately capture the narrow minstrel-like range Black performers were forced into in the 1920s and 1930s. As a wider spectrum of roles were offered or created by Black artists, Hirschfeld drew them as well.

For Black History Month, we have collected articles and exhibitions currently on our website the explore the role of Black performing artists in America as seen through Hirschfeld's work. We invite you to immerse yourself in this work and celebrate the accomplishments of Black artists. A third of our online exhibitions to date have focused on Black history, and we have new ones on Black film and Black music in the works.

As Hirschfeld wrote in 2002 in a new introduction to his classic book Harlem as seen by Hirschfeld about Harlem residents, but could just as easily be applied to many Black people, "Harlem people just kept on rising above whatever met them at eye level; regardless of the rugged terrain or the economic weather, Harlem residents had their own means of levitation. They perfected an art form beyond the Arts, beyond the stage, beyond the Cotton Club. Very real people meeting reality head on and then stubbornly transcending it."

Backstory in Black and White

Learn how Hirschfeld’s earliest-known portrait of Duke Ellington helped the legendary composer and musician deal with racism in his first national tour in 1931, in an enlightening essay by Ellington scholar, Steven Lasker

Shuffle Along

In 2015, one of the most anticipated shows on Broadway was Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musicial Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed. This new production was just that: the story of the making of Shuffle Along, the landmark African-American musical revue of 1921. See drawings of the cast members, as well as a fair share of performers from the original production.

Lost in the Stars: Black Theater Makers Drawn by Hirschfeld

Despite Broadway’s nickname as The Great White Way, Black actors, directors, composers, lyricists, playwrights, designers, and producers have long played an important role in the American Theater. Visit this exhibition and learn of some of the Black artists that make the American Theater what it is today.

Harlem as seen by Hirschfeld: An 80th Anniversary Celebration

This exhibit contains a mix of well and lesser-known artists, and nameless groups of dancers, who have contributed to the history of dance in America, curated by dance historian and choreographer Melanie George.

Learn more
Jan 4, 2022
Spend a Night with Hirschfeld on TCM
Although the holidays are now over, we still have a present for you: an evening of films "Drawn by Hirschfeld" on Turner Classic Movies hosted by Leonard Maltin and Dave Karger. This Wednesday, January 5th, starting at 8 pm (ET).  
Sep 24, 2021
Remembering Arthur Gelb on the Re-opening of the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on Broadway
On the ocassion of the the re-opening of the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, Louise Hirschfeld recalls how it got that name Arthur Gelb was a towering figure at The New York Times.  His autobiography City Room skillfully describes his ascent from copy boy to Managing Editor.
Oct 27, 2020
Remembering Marge Champion
 A Rememberance by Louise Hirschfeld Marge Champion was all over the creative map… She was beautiful and kind inside and out. Her energy was contagious. She danced with Gower her friend, husband, lover. Their special relationship as a dancing team exuded exquisite technique, lots of seduction and love. The MGM technicolor musicals are a lasting testament to their talent for dancing romance on the screen.
Oct 2, 2020
Hirschfeld Scores Big Legal Victory
The Al Hirschfeld Foundation (a not-for-profit organization) has successfully regained complete control of all of Al Hirschfeld's work and announced today that any and all relationships between it and Margo Feiden/The Margo Feiden Galleries (the Feiden Parties) are 100% terminated. The United States District Court, Southern District of New York has awarded The Al Hirschfeld Foundation a total of $452,767.62 in damages because the Feiden Parties breached the parties' 2000 settlement agreement and purloined a number of Hirschfeld original works. 
Oct 2, 2020
Hirschfeld Scores Big Legal Victory
The Al Hirschfeld Foundation (a not-for-profit organization) has successfully regained complete control of all of Al Hirschfeld's work and announced today that any and all relationships between it and Margo Feiden/The Margo Feiden Galleries (the Feiden Parties) are 100% terminated. The United States District Court, Southern District of New York has awarded The Al Hirschfeld Foundation a total of $452,767.62 in damages because the Feiden Parties breached the parties' 2000 settlement agreement and purloined a number of Hirschfeld original works.   
Jul 3, 2020
LOST IN THE STARS Black Theatre Makers Drawn By Hirschfeld
The Al Hirschfeld Foundation is proud to announce the latest in a series of online exhibitions exploring the work of one of the most iconic artists of the last century.
Dec 20, 2018
Support for the Al Hirschfeld Foundation
In September we had the pleasure of honoring our Founder and all-around wonderful person, Louise Hirschfeld Cullman in a special event at the National Arts Club. The starry evening was a terrific way to salute Louise and all she has accomplished for the Foundation and beyond, and it also proved to a very successful fundraiser, with proceeds nearly triple what was expected.
Dec 20, 2018
The Business of Hirschfeld
Hirschfeld is reaching new audiences and new collectors all the time. It has been another great year in the marketplace for Hirschfeld with big sales in auctions for works such as Cabin in the Sky and recently the Marx Brothers.
Dec 20, 2018
Hirschfeld Stories
In January of this year, we published a remarkable article by a Duke Ellington scholar that revealed Hirschfeld’s important contribution to Ellington’s early career, and how Al helped Duke deal with racism in his first national tours. We are regularly discovering new aspects of Hirschfeld’s art, as well as discovering works that we had never seen before.