The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts will offer a retrospective of the career of caricaturist Sam Norkin beginning Nov. 22.
Entitled "Theater.Ink: The Art of Sam Norkin," the exhibition is subtitled "From Hitchcock to Hairspray, a Caricaturist's View of the Performing Arts Over 60 Years" and will include over 200 drawings by the famed artist. Among the works of interest to theatre lovers are drawings of Zero Mostel and Eli Wallach in Rhinoceros, Kirk Douglas in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Albert Finney in Luther, James Earl Jones in Of Mice and Men, Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou in Sweeney Todd and scenes from The Producers and Hairspray. The Library will also display Norkin's renditions of Leonard Bernstein, Bette Midler, Bette Davis and dozens of other celebrities.
Born in Brooklyn in 1917, Sam Norkin studied with muralist Mordi Gassner as a teen-ager and later trained at the Metropolitan Art School, Cooper Union and the School of Fine and Industrial Art. From 1940 to 1956, his work was seen in the New York Herald Tribune, and for the next 26 years, he covered the performing arts for the New York Daily News. Norkin's drawings have also been featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Boston Globe, Washington Post and Toronto Star. He received a 1995 Drama Desk Award for his body of work, and the League of New York Theatres and Producers honored Norkin for "outstanding contributions as a theatrical artist."
"Theater.Ink: The Art of Sam Norkin" opens Nov. 22, 2002, and runs through Jan. 18, 2003 at the Donald and Mary Oenslager Gallery of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza. Exhibition hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from noon to 6 PM; Thursday, noon to 8 PM; closed Sundays, Mondays and holidays. Admission is free; call (212) 870-1630 for more information.
—By Andrew Gans