Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Americans in Paris

Artist:
Al Hirschfeld (American, St. Louis, Missouri 1903–2003 New York)
Date:
1951
Medium:
Pen and black ink over graphite
Dimensions:
sheet: 20 x 29 7/8 in. (50.8 x 75.9 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1955
Accession Number:
55.133
Not on view
Hirschfeld drew this animated crowd at the Café de la Paix, near the Paris Opéra, during a 1951 assignment for the travel magazine Holiday. He depicted the expatriate community of artists, writers and bon-vivants that were drawn to the city after the end of World War II. Well-known residents and prominent visitors are gathered here into a great contemporary conversation piece. Representing the prewar generation is Raymond Duncan, the classically garbed dancer-philosopher at right. Just behind him, an elderly Alice B. Toklas walks by with folded hands. The American military presence in Europe is indicated by two generals, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Anthony Drexel Biddle standing at the back. Near the corner of the café, Hirschfeld placed himself, wide-eyed and bearded, accompanied by his wife, the actress Dolly Haas, wearing sunglasses, and their young daughter Nina.
A full list of those portrayed includes Elsa Maxwell, Boris Aronson, Aly Khan, Bartley Crum, Sol Hurok, Mary Pickford, Buddy Rogers, Darryl Zanuck, Richard S. Aldrich, Ludwig Bemelmans, Ernest Hemingway, Saul Steinberg, Robert Capa, The Duke of Windsor, The Duchess of Windsor, Sylvia Beach, Marc Chagall, Sugar Ray Robinson, Perle Mesta, John Faulkner, Nina Hirschfeld, Dolly Haas, Al Hirschfeld, Irwin Shaw, Jo Davidson, Richard Wright, Helen Markel, Lester Markel, Anthony Drexel Biddle, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Bernard M. Baruch, Sir Charles Mendl, Alice B. Toklas, Raymond Duncan.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine," September 13, 2011–March 4, 2012.

Nadine Orenstein, Constance C. McPhee Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine Exh. cat.: September 13, 2011 - March 4, 2012. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New Haven and London, 2011, Entry by Constance McPhee, cat. no. 157, pp. 190-91, 200-201, ill.



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