Al Hirschfeld's Drawing Table and Barber Chair To Find Permanent Home at NYPL Jan. 25

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24 Jan 2011

Al Hirschfeld. Self Portrait in My Barber Chair. Ink on board, 1983
Al Hirschfeld. Self Portrait in My Barber Chair. Ink on board, 1983

The table and chair from which legendary caricaturist Al Hirschfeld sketched the best of Broadway will be permanently installed in the lobby of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts' Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center on Jan. 25 at 6:30 PM.

The by-invitation evening will begin with a cocktail reception, followed by 7 PM unveiling and remarks. His chair, which he called the "last functional chair" because it could go up, down, swivel and recline, started in the barber shop of the Chrysler Building, according to NYPL. It was gifted to him as a 90th birthday present by friends in 1993 to replace an older one.

Presiding over the unveiling of the chair will be Louise Hirschfeld Cullman, Al Hirschfeld's widow and the president of the Al Hirschfeld Foundation; NYPL president Dr. Paul LeCerc; and New York Public Library for the Performing Arts executive director Jacqueline Z. Davis.

Special guests will include actress-dancer Marge Champion; showbusiness caricaturist Ken Fallin; Margot Feiden, owner of the art gallery that displays and represents Hirschfeld's drawings; Arthur Gelb, The New York Times' former managing editor; Tony Award-winning actress Tammy Grimes; fashion designer and writer Mary McFadden; Broadway and film star Jane Powell; actress-designer-socialite Gloria Vanderbilt; and Tony Award-winning scenic designers Robin Wagner and Tony Walton.

The chair and table "will continue to add to the cultural life of the library with a rotating installation of relevant Hirschfeld images," according to NYPL. Hirschfeld (1903-2003) chronicled the theatre and performing arts in lively and unique drawings from the 1920s until shortly before his death.



The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is located at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza. For more information, visit nypl.org or alhirschfeldfoundation.org.