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Morris Hirshfield Rediscovered

September 23, 2022–January 29, 2023
Exhibition

Morris Hirshfield Rediscovered will reintroduce a singular self-taught artist of the 1930s and 1940s to contemporary audiences. Featuring over 40 of the artist’s paintings (more than half of his output), this exhibition will be the most comprehensive presentation of Hirshfield’s work.

An immigrant tailor and slipper manufacturer in Brooklyn who took up painting at the age of 65, Hirshfield attracted a great degree of attention during his brief career as an artist (1937-1946). His pictures were championed by Sidney Janis, embraced by the Surrealists, collected by Peggy Guggenheim, and featured in a highly publicized one-man show at the Museum of Modern Art in 1943. At the same time, the artist was dismissed and mocked in the media as the “Master of the Two Left Feet” for his tendency to display the female body in an unorthodox fashion.

This exhibition is 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’s Senior Curator of Self-Taught Art and Art Brut, is the show’s coordinating curator.

Artworks

The Artist and His Model Morris Hirshfield Photographed by Gavin Ashworth  © Robert and Gail Rentzer for Estate of Morris Hirshfield, licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Mother Cat with Kittens Morris Hirshfield Photo by Charles Bechtold. © Robert and Gail Rentzer for Estate of Morris Hirshfield, licensed by VAGA, New York, NY