Hounds by Hirschfeld

Online Exhibit Runs Through Aug. 15

By: - Jun 29, 2021

Man’s Best Friend takes the spotlight in The Al Hirschfeld Foundation’s latest online exhibition. Specifically, The Dog Show: Hounds by Hirschfeld is live at  through Aug. 15.

The show features drawings of some of the most famous dogs in 20th century media. In addition, the exhibition features some not-so-famous canines whose owners nevertheless loved them. This exhibit features breeds from each of the seven American Kennel Club groups. They are Sporting, Working, Terrier, Hound, Toy, Herding, and Non-Sporting.

Katherine Eastman, archives manager of The Al Hirschfeld Foundation, curates the exhibit.

“Westminster may be over, but this dog show is ready to begin,” Eastman says. The Certified Professional Dog Trainer adds: “For this exhibition, we’ve searched through the Hirschfeld archive for images of dogs of every size and shape. You’ll learn some fun facts about different breeds. Maybe you’ll even fall in love with a breed and start looking for your next best friend.”

Viewers will find reflections of The Thin Man, Frasier, Lassie, The Wiz, Annie, Gypsy, The Will Rogers Follies, and more.

Also, go behind the lines of Hirschfeld’s art with “The Hirschfeld Century Podcast.” The 2020 Apple Awards nominated it as “Best NYC podcast.” A special episode focusing on The Dog Show: Hounds by Hirschfeld will be available beginning on July 19 from, iTunes, and other popular podcast sites.

The drawings of Al Hirschfeld (June 21, 1903—Jan. 20, 2003) stand as one of the most innovative efforts in establishing the visual language of modern art through caricature in the 20th century. A linear calligraphic style defines Hirschfeld’s signature work. It appears in virtually every major publication of the last nine decades. Also, Hirschfeld’s work graces numerous book and record covers, as well as 15 postage stamps.

The late artist said he took characters, and reinvented them for readers. Late playwright Terrence McNally wrote: “No one ‘writes’ more accurately of the performing arts than Al Hirschfeld. He accomplishes on a blank page with his pen and ink in a few strokes what many of us need a lifetime of words to say.”

Many public collections feature Hirschfeld’s work. They include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the National Portrait Gallery, and Harvard’s Theater Collection. In addition, Hirschfeld authored many books. And in 1996, the New York City Landmarks Commission declared Hirschfeld a “Living Landmark.” Also, in 2000, The Library of Congress declared the artist a “Living Legend.” Just before his death in January 2003, Hirschfeld learned that the National Endowment of the Arts was to award him the Medal of Arts. Further, he learned about his induction into the Academy of Arts and Letters.

Hirschfeld won two Tony Awards, and received the ultimate Broadway accolade on what would have been his 100th birthday in June 2003. Specifically, the Broadway community renamed The Martin Beck Theater the Al Hirschfeld Theater.

The Al Hirschfeld Foundation’s mission is to promote interest in the theater and visual arts by supporting non-profit museums, libraries, theaters, and similar cultural institutions. The foundation fulfills its mission through grants and exhibitions of Hirschfeld’s art.

The Foundation maintains an extensive collection of Hirschfeld artworks. It foundation also lends and/or donates pieces to institutions all over the world. Another primary mission is arts education. The Foundation tries to promote it through the Hirschfeld Arts Curriculum. Created in conjunction with the New York City Board of Education, the curriculum is an innovative visual/performing arts education. It’s based on Hirschfeld’s art to engage K-12 students in a variety of arts activities. Programs encourage writing, reading, researching, observing, movement, and performance. The goal is for students to learn about the arts, its history, and the opportunities for education and employment in the arts field.

The foundation intends the web-based Al Hirschfeld curriculum as a free resource for teachers and students. For more information, go to