Stagestruck The Character Drawings of Al Hirschfeld Kristine Somerville Self-Portrait at 90, lithograph, The New Yorker, 1993 © Al Hirschfeld. Reproduced by arrangement with Hirschfeld's exclusive representative, the Margo Feiden Galleries Ltd., New York. www.alhirschfeld.com l Hirschfeld was discovered not once but four times in his life. At four key moments his work received recognition that took his career to a new level, or he was given crucial advice that encouraged his growth as an artist. The first time occurred when he was eleven. Charles Marx, a St. Louis artist who gave him drawing lessons and took him to art galleries, told his mother, Rebecca, that she needed to get him to New York so he didn't waste his rare artistic gift. With only five dollars in the household account, she moved the family across the country, settling in upper Manhattan, where they lived in a crowded attic apartment. Rent was modest--four dollars a month--but still beyond the family's means. Rebecca, the breadwinner, took a job as a saleswoman at the Wertheimer's Department Store, while her husband stayed home with the children. With Rebecca's determination, the family managed, and there were even rare treats. When he was fourteen,
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: May 1, 2013
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