One of the most important figures in contemporary caricature, Al Hirschfeld (1903–2003) immortalized the icons of American theater in delightful drawings depicting Broadway stars and productions. The Orchid Show: On Broadway complementary exhibit Hirschfeld’s Broadway Scrapbook in the Mertz Library’s Rondina and LoFaro Gallery displayed more than 30 drawings and prints, as well as posters, programs, and sketchbooks from the Al Hirschfeld Foundation that tell the history of the Great White Way as seen by its foremost chronicler.
Visitors travelled through time beginning with Eugene O’Neill’s classic Anna Christie in 1921 to Hairspray in 2002, with stops along the way at My Fair Lady, Gypsy, Funny Girl, Fiddler on the Roof, La Cage Aux Folles, Evita, and Phantom of the Opera. Included were portraits of Broadway legends Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Miller, George and Ira Gershwin, Neil Simon, Jerome Robbins, Carol Channing, Patti Lupone, Barbra Streisand, and Julie Andrews, and even a selection of Broadway shows with a botanical connection, such as House of Flowers, Desire Under the Elms, and Into the Woods.
Hirschfeld’s Broadway Scrapbook is curated by David Leopold of the Al Hirschfeld Foundation with consultation provided by Louise Kerz Hirschfeld.