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Remembering Al Hirschfeld

Yesterday marked the 10th anniversary of the passing of the great Al Hirchfeld. Maybe it doesn’t show in my style much, but I count his work as a main influence, and inspiration, behind my wanting to do caricature illustration. I got to meet Mr. Hirschfeld once, and that meeting led to my getting the original pictured above. You can read that story here.

This fall The Lovely Anna and I took a trip to Los Angeles—just for fun and to see some people there who have become very dear friends. We went out sightseeing one day, and visited the Paley Center for Media on North Beverly Hills Drive, which had (and still has) an exhibit of Warner Bros TV memorabilia. It was a fun exhibit, with things like the Central Perk set from Friends, Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman outfit, and many other cool things from TV shows.

The highlight for me, however, was as we exited. Going down this long ramp, we ended up in a side area of the lobby that had several dozen framed Hirchsfeld pieces from television history. I Had no idea this was there, so it was a complete surprise! I think they were all limited edition prints as opposed to originals, but they were still great fun to see. Here are a few pictures I took of some of the ones I liked the best (sorry for the glare and bad focus in some):

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Very cool to see the color ones. You would think Hirschfeld’s style, being so identified with line, would not translate well to a painted look, but it did. He did quite a bit of color cover work for TV guide and other publications.


4 Responses to “Remembering Al Hirschfeld”

  1. Absolutely brilliant. LOVE Hirschfeld. I caught that last exhibition at the S.O.I. -it was excellent to see those originals!

  2. Chesley White says:

    The one bookended by Rhoda and Lawrence Welk is a bunch of WNBC TV personalities from the ’70’s and ’80’s. I see Ernie Anastos, Tom Snyder, Spencer Christian, and Gene Shalit in there. I recognize others, but their names escape me at the moment…..

    • Tom says:

      There is also Regis Philbin at the top. I could not figure out what the connection was… was not sure it was NBC.

      • nunz says:

        That’s definitely not just NBC, I see a lot of the Eyewitness News team which was on ABC. What they have in common is they’re all NY newscasters.

        I think the woman in the center at the bottom is KAITY TONG.

        Lower right is definitely ROGER GRIMSBY.

        I would think that’s his co-anchor BILL BEUTEL with his hand on Grimsby’s shoulder.

        I’m pretty sure that’s JOEL SIEGEL, not Gene Shalit.

        Behind Siegel to the left is MILTON LEWIS.

        Between Siegel & Spencer Christian may be weatherman STORM FIELD, wouldn’t swear to it.

        That could possibly be KATHIE LEE GIFFORD next to Regis. She had big hair way back when.

        The lady with the frizzy hair and glasses was the film critic and I can’t remember her name and it’s driving me crazy. The guy right above her escapes me and is also driving me crazy. Both caricatures captured their likenesses exactly.


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