Exhibit: IT GOES SO FAST: OUR TOWN BY HIRSCHFELD (with podcast guest-curated by author Howard Sherman)

Post image for Exhibit: IT GOES SO FAST: OUR TOWN BY HIRSCHFELD (with podcast guest-curated by author Howard Sherman)

by Gregory Bernard on March 22, 2021

in Art and Museums,Virtual

The new virtual exhibition It Goes So Fast: Our Town by Hirschfeld is now open. Guest-curated by Howard Sherman, author of the book, Another Day’s Begun: Thornton Wilder’s Our Town in the 21st Century (I just finished it; a fascinating emotional read), this is the first exhibition from the Al Hirschfeld Foundation concentrated on a single play. Through Hirschfeld’s pen, we see how Wilder’s landmark drama so resonated with both audiences and performers over eight decades. Hirschfeld drew Our Town productions on stage, on television, and even a musical version. Howard Sherman brings many of these productions to life in his engaging commentary throughout the exhibition.

Borscht Circuit Green Mansion Players of Warrensburg, NY present Our Town, 1939

“Given the breadth of his career, it’s no surprise that Al Hirschfeld had occasion to draw actors from productions of Our Town, in light of the enduring popularity of Thornton Wilder’s play,” says Howard Sherman, guest-curator of the exhibition. “In only 10 drawings, Hirschfeld managed to commemorate all four productions that have played on Broadway to date, ranging from the original in 1938 to the most recent revival in 2002. He also captured all of the men who played the Stage Manager on Broadway, an estimable quartet made up of Frank Craven, Henry Fonda, Spalding Gray, and Paul Newman, as well as various other members of the companies.”

Our Town with James Rebhorn, Frances Conroy, Eric Stoltz, Peter Maloney,
Roberta Maxwell, Ann Miller, & Spalding Gray, 1988

“Howard’s book shows how Our Town, like Hirschfeld’s drawing, continues to engage audiences long after it was first created,” says David Leopold, Creative Director of The Al Hirschfeld Foundation. “The Al Hirschfeld Foundation appreciates what Howard Sherman does in his book. He takes something we all know and sees it in a fresh light. That is a hallmark of Hirschfeld’s work and one could say Thornton Wilder’s as well. Of course Our Town uses simplicity to make its point, which again echoes Hirschfeld.”

TV Replacements: Sinatra for Frank Craven in Our Town,
Mary Martin for Tallulah in Skin of Our Teeth.

Go behind the lines of Hirschfeld’s art with “The Hirschfeld Century Podcast,” nominated as “Best NYC podcast” by the 2020 Apple Awards.  A special episode featuring Sherman will be available starting April 5, 2021 from Al Hirschfeld Foundation, iTunes and other popular podcast sites.

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