Sheldon Art Galleries Will Offer Major Retrospective of Work of Al Hirschfeld

By Andrew Gans
August 29, 2012

The Sheldon Art Galleries in St. Louis, MO, will offer a major retrospective exhibition of the work of the late, St. Louis-born artist and Broadway caricaturist Al Hirschfeld.



Al Hirschfeld's Jazz and Broadway Scrapbook, which opens Sept. 7 and continues through Jan. 5, 2013, is part of The Sheldon’s 100th anniversary celebration.

The retrospective will feature more than 100 original drawings, paintings, prints, collages, posters and ephemera from Hirschfeld's career and reveals his lifelong fascination with jazz. In addition to Hirschfeld's artwork, the installation will feature his specially-made stereo system, his extensive jazz record collection, and African drums and Balinese shadow puppets from his home.

The exhibition features drawings from 1914-2002.

Beginning with a career overview, the first section of the exhibit features one of Hirschfeld's earliest extant works, a drawing of the Clark Public school in St. Louis, as well as a rich panoply of some of his most iconic works, including portraits of Carol Channing and Laurel and Hardy. A separate section of the exhibit focuses on his work in jazz and includes luminaries such as Jelly Roll Morton, Johnny Mercer, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman, among many others.

In conjunction with the retrospective, The Sheldon Art Galleries will present In Conversation: David Leopold and Louise Hirschfeld Sept. 8 at 10:30 AM. The free discussion will feature Leopold, archivist, Al Hirschfeld Foundation, and curator of the exhibition, who will share stories with historian and Al Hirschfeld’s wife, Louise Hirschfeld.

The exhibition is made possible by Mary Strauss and Terry Schnuck.

For more information visit www.thesheldon.org/galleries_current.asp.