Stop by the Museum this summer to hunt for “Ninas” in the exhibition The Hirschfeld Century: The Art of Al Hirschfeld and join us on Wednesdays at 3:30 pm and Sundays at 12:30 pm for Sketching in the Galleries: The Hirschfeld Century. Families will find the “Ninas” on this educator-led tour and get the chance to sketch their own names into a Hirschfeld drawing!
To be drawn by American artist Al Hirschfeld during the 20th century was an exciting occurrence for actors, singers, dancers, and performers. To be “Hirschfelded” was a sign that one had achieved a certain level of celebrity. Audrey Hepburn, Liza Minelli, Woody Allen, and many other big-name stars were immortalized in ink by Hirschfeld, but there is another name that must be mentioned: Nina.
Born in 1945, Nina was the daughter of Al Hirschfeld and actress Dolly Haas. In the months after her birth, Hirschfeld began hiding her name in his drawings as a joke for \family and friends. He included the number of “Ninas” to the right of his signature. Soon this running joke became a national obsession. People loved finding the “Ninas!” So much so that when Hirschfeld tried to end the “harmless insanity,” he received a mountain of letters begging him not to stop.
How many “Ninas” can you spot in the work below?