Melvin R. Seiden collection of Al Hirschfeld drawings, prints (visual works), sketchbooks, and ephemera
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
11.2 linear feet (8 boxes, 288 oversize folders, and 2 frames)
Series I contains portrait drawings of theatrical figures and celebrities, drawings based on scenes from theatrical productions, composite drawings depicting contemporary theatrical figures and performances, as well as several political cartoons and caricatures of theatrical culture. Many of these drawings were published in the New York Times during Hirschfeld’s tenure creating caricatures of actors, directors, critics, producers, and more for the newspaper’s drama section from 1928 to approximately 2002.
Series II contains lithographs of Hirschfeld’s work, including portraits of theatrical figures and celebrities, as well as scenes from productions a films. Prints depicting composite images of multiple scenes from Broadway seasons are included as well, with some cultural caricatures and cartoons in addition to the theatrical and film-related works. Many of these are lithographs of drawings prepared for the New York Times, and there is some overlap of subjects and depictions from the drawings and prints (visual works) series.
Series III contains nine volumes of sketchbooks filled mainly by pencil sketches made by Al Hirschfeld, often when at the theatre.
Series IV includes ephemera relating to Al Hirschfeld, including a copy of his book on speakeasies in New York, Manhattan Oases, as well as print materials such as magazines, newspapers, and programs, phonograph albums, drawings, a single t-shirt, and a custom Hirschfeld drawing pad.
Biographical / Historical
Melvin R. Seiden (1921-2011) was a collector, an honorary curator of Visual Arts at Harvard College Library and an associate director of Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Seiden, Melvin R. Melvin R. Seiden collection of Al Hirschfeld drawings, prints, sketchbooks, and ephemera, 1928-2002 (MS Thr 558): Guide.
- Houghton Library, Harvard University.
- 2018 August 28
- Description rules
- Language of description
- Finding aid written in English.
- EAD ID
Part of the Houghton Library Repository
Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA