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Stephen Kroninger
Oliver W. Harrington 1912 -1995
posted:

 This post celebrates the work Oliver W. Harrington. I included the Times obituary below to offer some biography but, as always, I like to let the artist speak for himself by presenting their art. The bulk of these images come from Dark Laughter: The Satiric Art of Oliver W. Harrington. "Most of the Bootsie cartoons derive from the late 1950s and 1960s...and the color cartoons were published in East German magazines during the 1970s and 1980s." There are many more in the book including a section featuring several covering the Reagan era. It's well worth the 25 bucks and a place on your bookshelf.
"Oliver W. Harrington began his career as a cartoonist when there were few blacks in that profession. His friend, the writer Langston Hughes, called him America's most popular black cartoonist and a first-rate social satirist.

Cartoons featuring Bootsie, a black man whom Mr. Harrington described in a 1964 book as "a jolly, rather well-fed but soulful character," appeared in The Amsterdam News in New York City, in The Pittsburgh Courier and elsewhere. Sometimes Bootsie is only an offstage presence: in one cartoon, two children peer out a tenement window at a robin.

The boy says: "Oooh, look, Sis, a robin red breast, and it must be spring. Do you reckon Uncle Bootsie was lying when he said spring comes three weeks earlier over 'cross town where the white folks live?"

In a chapter that Mr. Harrington contributed to the 1964 book "Harlem, U.S.A.," he recalled that Bootsie was born in 1936, after the editor of The Amsterdam News had hired him as a temporary cartoonist.

"Luckily, not much imagination was needed for the job," Mr. Harrington wrote. "I simply recorded the almost unbelievable but hilarious chaos around me and came up with a character. It seems that one of the local numbers runners dug my cartoon, and nobody covers as much Harlem territory as the numbers man. And so the cartoon's popularity grew by word of his mouth, which was very big."

The newspaper's city editor named the character Bootsie, andMr. Harrington recalled, "I was more surprised than anyone when Brother Bootsie became a Harlem household celebrity." Besides Mr. Hughes, Mr. Harrington was a friend of other writers who were part of what became known as the Harlem Renaissance, including Arna Bontemps and Rudolph Fisher.

Mel Watkins wrote in The New York Times Book Review in 1993: "Mr. Harrington is a gifted painter and fine artist. His drawings, unlike those of many cartoonists, often transcend mere caricature even as they convey the impressionistic vigor and ironic thrust demanded by the genre. As his essays and cartoons demonstrate, much of his life and work was shaped by outrage at the way he and other blacks were treated."

His criticism of what he called nationwide apathy about legislation against lynching came under scrutiny from the F.B.I. during the McCarthy era. Mr. Harrington left the United States and lived for some years in Paris, where he was part of a group of black American expatriates that included the authors Richard Wright and Chester Himes.

During his years abroad, he wrote articles for American periodicals. A collection of those articles, "Why I Left America: And Other Essays," edited by M. Thomas Inge, was published by University Press of Mississippi in 1993, as was the book "Dark Laughter: The Satiric Art of Oliver W. Harrington," also edited by Professor Inge, of Randolph-Macon College.

"Dark Laughter" contained some of Mr. Harrington's best artwork from the six decades beginning with the 1930's, including much Bootsie cartoon work. It also featured what Mr. Watkins, reviewing both books jointly in The Times, called "the more openly satiric political cartoons" that Mr. Harrington produced for publications in East Germany and elsewhere.

Mr. Harrington was born in Valhalla, N.Y., and was reared mostly in the South Bronx. He became interested in cartooning as a schoolboy, he later recalled, when he drew caricatures of a teacher whom he considered a bigot.

He went on to receive a bachelor's degree from Yale University, then studied at the National Academy of Design. He also worked in public relations for the N.A.A.C.P. and served as art editor of The People's Voice."
---- source, New York Times, November 7, 1995


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caption: "Now I aint so sure I wanna get educated!‘ (1963)
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Gershwin/Glaser 1960
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THE HIRSCHFELD CENTURY EXHIBIT
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NEW-YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY CELEBRATES LEGENDARY PORTRAITIST IN THE HIRSCHFELD CENTURY: THE ART OF AL HIRSCHFELD
On View May 22 – October 12, 2015
Acclaimed portraitist Al Hirschfeld (1903–2003) immortalized celebrities and Broadway productions with his iconic linear calligraphic drawings for nine decades, establishing himself as one of the most important contemporary portrait artists. This spring, the New-York Historical Society will present The Hirschfeld Century: The Art of Al Hirschfeld, on view from May 22 through October 12, 2015, honoring the renowned portraitist whose work documented the performing arts in the 20th century. Organized by Louise Kerz Hirschfeld and guest curated by David Leopold of the Al Hirschfeld Foundation, the exhibition will feature more than 100 original drawings, from the artist’s early work for Hollywood studios to his last drawings for The New York Times.
Known by many as “the Line King,” Al Hirschfeld was widely considered one of the most important figures in contemporary drawing and caricature. Celebrities considered it an honor to be “Hirschfelded” and his drawings brought the energy and exuberance of Broadway to the page. The exhibition will feature classic portraits of Charlie Chaplin, Carol Channing, Ella Fitzgerald, Jane Fonda and Ringo Starr, as well as cast drawings from such landmark productions as Fiddler on the Roof, West Side Story, and The Glass Menagerie. Also on view will be selections from the artist’s sketchbooks, ephemera, and related videos.
“Al Hirschfeld’s work was ubiquitous for 82 years—in Hollywood, The New York Times, Broadway, film studios, and TV Guide covers,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, President and CEO of the New-York Historical Society. “We are thrilled to feature these iconic drawings that capture popular culture of the 20th century.”
“Al Hirschfeld revered the theater, with all its creative aspects. His drawings continue to mesmerize us with their fluidity, composition, and cinematic style,” stated Louise Kerz Hirschfeld, President of the Al Hirschfeld Foundation. “He glorified the artistic genius of those who created cinema and theater.”
Exhibition Highlights
Visitors to The Hirschfeld Century will explore the artist’s career chronologically, beginning with his pre-caricature days at Selznick Pictures in the early 1920s to his last works in theater, film, television, music and dance in 2002. A video showing Hirschfeld’s working process, from inception to completion, will also be on view.
Among the highlights is a 1928 drawing for MGM depicting the fledgling comedy team Laurel and Hardy in a bed with a brightly colored blanket, ingeniously made from a collage of wallpaper samples. An image of actress Ruby Keeler from No, No Nanette (1971) captures the wild energy of the 60-year old actress in her comeback role, enthusiastically tap dancing with arms and legs a-blur. Portraits of more recent stage legends like Jerry Orbach (in 42nd Street, 1980) and Sandra Bernhard (in I’m Still Here… Damn It!, 1998) evoke their big personalities with sparing lines.
When his daughter Nina was born in late 1945, Hirschfeld began to hide her name in the designs of his drawings, creating a hide-and-seek game for his viewers that Hirschfeld called “a national insanity.” Visitors to the exhibition can continue the search, but might initially be stumped by Nina’s Revenge (1966)–until they realize that her curly hair and folds of her clothes contain her proud parents’ names (“Al” and “Dolly”).
Programming and Publication
On May 28, Louise Kerz Hirschfeld, Robert Osborne and Harold Prince will discuss the caricaturist’s life and legacy through his art, career, and personal relationships (for more information, visit nyhistory.org).
In conjunction with the exhibition, Alfred A. Knopf will publish the first in-depth study of Hirschfeld’s art. The Hirschfeld Century: A Portrait of The Artist and His Age (May 2015) is a comprehensive look at Hirschfeld’s career, written by David Leopold, guest curator of the exhibition and Creative Director of the Al Hirschfeld Foundation. The book includes more than 300 illustrations, many of which have never been in any published Hirschfeld collection before.
About the New-York Historical Society
The New-York Historical Society, one of America’s pre-eminent cultural institutions, is dedicated to fostering research and presenting history and art exhibitions and public programs that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world of today. Founded in 1804, New-York Historical has a mission to explore the richly layered history of New York City and State and the country, and to serve as a national forum for the discussion of issues surrounding the making and meaning of history.


F.E. Miller and Aubrey Lyles in Rang Tang, 1927.

Laurel and Hardy, 1928

Fred Astaire and Claire Luce in the Gay Divorcee, 1932

Jumbo, 1935

Strike up the Band, 1940

Are You With It, 1945

Nat King Cole Trio, 1946

Guys and Dolls, 1950

Liberace, 1954


West Side Story, 1957

Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier in the Defiant Ones, 1958.

Fiddler on the Roof, 1964

Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer in the Sound of Music, 1965

George Segal and Barbara Streisand in the Owl and the Pussycat

Kabuki Sketch, 1975

Richard Kiley in Man of La Mancha, 1977

Eugene Ormandy, 1983

Whoopi Goldberg in Whoopi Goldberg, 1984

John Lithgow in M Butterfly, 1988

Isaac Stern, 1990

Jerry Garcia, 1995

Jerry Seinfeld, 1998

Hairspray, 2002

Tommy Tune in White Tie and Tails, 2002
Photo by David Simson (late 90's)
Friedman/Kroninger RADIO
posted:
Frank Sinatra by Sam Berman

Listen to Drew Friedman and Stephen Kroninger live online this coming Monday at 12.40 PM (EST), on WNYC's Leonard Lopate show as they discuss their upcoming presentation on Forgotten Caricaturists: THE LEONARD LOPATE SHOW
AND!
Join us at the Society of Illustrators on May 6th for an entertaining visual presentation discussing and celebrating the long forgotten works of Al Freuh, Einar Nerman, William Auerbach-Levy, Lou Hirshman, Jacques Kapralik, Alex Gard, Sam Berman, George Wachsteter, Alan Jedla, Abel Ianiro, Bill Utterback and John Johns.
  
Admission
$15 Non-Members | $10 Members | $7 Seniors/students (Undergraduate only)
 
tickets

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Grab a drink before the lecture at the Society's Happy Hour held in the third floor Dining Room.  The bar will also be open following the lecture, and will be serving specialty cocktails and a small plates buffet.  
 
About the Artists
Award winning artist Drew Friedman's comics and illustrations have appeared in Art Spiegelman's Raw, R. Crumb's Weirdo, American Splendor, Heavy Metal, National Lampoon, SPY, MAD, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New York Observer, etc, as well as creating numerous book, CD and DVD covers. His work has been collected in five anthologies. Drew Friedman's Sideshow Freaks was published in 2011. Steven Heller in the The New York Times wrote of his three volumes of portraiture of Old Jewish Comedians: "A festival of drawing virtuosity and fabulous craggy faces. Friedman might very well be the Vermeer of the Borscht Belt". The Society of Illustrators hosted a showing of his Old Jewish Comedians artwork in 2014. His latest book of portraits, Heroes of the Comics, was published by Fantagraphics with a foreword by Al Jaffee. The sequel More Heroes of the Comics is due out in 2016. Friedman lives in PA with his wife and frequent collaborator K. Bidus.

Stephen Kroninger's collages have appeared in nearly every major newspaper and magazine in the United States, as well as in many publications around the world. His work was the subject of an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the only time the museum devoted a one-person show to an illustrator. His art can be found in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. Kroninger is also the author/illustrator of three award-winning children's books. He created animation for an exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art. He recently received a gold medal and the Stevan Dohanos Award from the Society of Illustrators.
Benito Mussolini by Louis Hirshman

Through some incredible sleuthing we have been in contact with Hirshman's son who has provided us with close to twenty color photograph's of his father's work for this event. Some, including this Mussolini, haven't been seen in nearly eighty years. His son asked that I not post the photos online so if you want to see the work in color you'll have to attend our talk on Wednesday evening beginning at 6:30. Hope to see you there.
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