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Morris Hirshfield Rediscovered

September 23, 2022–January 29, 2023
Exhibition

Morris Hirshfield Rediscovered reintroduced a singular self-taught artist of the 1930s and 1940s to contemporary audiences.

Celebrated as one of the year’s best by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Hyperallergic, the exhibition represents the most comprehensive gathering of Hirshfield’s work ever assembled. It featured over 40 of the self-taught artist’s paintings, including iconic works such as Girl with Flowers, Stage Beauties, Parliamentary Buildings, and Inseparable Friends.

Morris Hirshfield Rediscovered was curated by Richard Meyer, Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor of Art History at Stanford University. Susan Davidson served as curatorial advisor to the exhibition. Valérie Rousseau, the American Folk Art Museum (AFAM)’s Senior Curator of Self-Taught Art and Art Brut, was the show’s coordinating curator.

EXHIBITION-RELATED PROGRAMS

Please click the links below to enjoy programs related to the exhibition via the Museum’s YouTube channel.

Virtual Insights: Rediscovering Morris Hirshfield

In the Wilds of Brooklyn: Roz Chast and Ben Katchor in Conversation

In Dreams Awake: Jamea Richmond-Edwards,Kathy Ruttenberg and Susan Bee in Conversation


Richard Meyer’s book, Master of the Two Left Feet: Morris Hirshfield Rediscovered is available to purchase at the Museum and in our online Shop. Become a member today and receive a 10% discount on the book and all purchases.


Morris Hirshfield Rediscovered was supported in part by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, the David Berg Foundation, the Salo W. and Jeannette M. Baron Foundation, the David Davies and Jack Weeden Fund for Exhibitions, the Stacy C. Hollander Fund for Exhibitions, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the Robert Lehman Foundation, the Wyeth Foundation for American Art, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature. Learning and engagement programs are sponsored in part by Con Edison, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Sparkjoy Foundation.

Artworks

Morris Hirshfield (1872, Poland–1946, United States), The Artist and His Model, 1945.Oil on canva, 44 x 34 in. American Folk Art Museum, New York, gift of David L. Davies, 2002.23.1. ©2022 Robert and Gail Rentzer for Estate of Morris Hirshfield, licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.

Morris Hirshfield (1872, Poland–1946, United States) Tiger, 1940. Oil on canvas, 28 x 39 7/8 in. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Fund, 1941, 328.1941. © 2022 Robert and Gail Rentzer for Estate of Morris Hirshfield / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. 

Morris Hirshfield (1872, Poland–1946, United States), Girl with Pigeons, 1942, Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 1/8 inches, The Museum of Modern Art, 610.1967. © 2022 Robert and Gail Rentzer for Estate of Morris Hirshfield, licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Morris Hirshfield (1872, Poland–1946, United States), Stage Beauties, 1944. Oil on canvas, 40 x 48 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, gift of Carroll and Donna Janis, 2013.1118. © 2022 Robert and Gail Rentzer for Estate of Morris Hirshfield / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. 

Reviews
"An extravagantly orchestrated exhibition at the American Folk Art Museum that is one of the season’s best"
– The New York Times
"Morris Hirshfield, A Once Obscure Self-Taught Artist, Is Having A Major Resurgence."
– ARTnews
"In less than a decade, he was embraced by the Surrealists, collected by Peggy Guggenheim and given a solo show at MoMA."
– T Magazine
"His first full-career retrospective features upwards of 40 paintings and 14 boudoir slippers fabricated in his patented designs."
– Hyperallergic
“'Morris Hirshfield Rediscovered' is the artist’s first solo show in an American museum since 1979. Don’t miss it."
– Wall Street Journal