Sunday, April 26, 2015

Al Hirshfeld: The Algonquin Round Table

If you'd like to glimpse some of New York's literary lights of the 1920's you can't do better than this. Al Hirschfeld's famous lithograph of the Algonquin Round Table is a classic image of the celebrated literary lunchtime crowd. Present are Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, Broadway stars seated at the back, Frank Crowninshield, standing, and host Frank Case, also standing. Seated clockwise from the left are Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Alexander Woollcott, Heywood Broun, Marc Connelly, Franklin P. Adams, Edna Ferber, George S. Kaufman, and Robert Sherwood. The original drawing is similar, but it had a different background. The name of Hirschfeld's daughter Nina is hidden once in the image.

People came and went at the Round Table, so not all of the members are depicted. Not present here, sadly, is Harold Ross, founding editor of the New Yorker. Neither is Harpo Marx, Broadway star along with his brothers before they became movie stars. Writer Frank Sullivan isn't around either. Neither are Deems Taylor or Tallulah Bankhead. Still, it's probably as good a lunchtime crowd as you're going to find anywhere. The original lithograph is available from the Margo Feiden Galleries.

Me, I eat alone at my desk.

Al Hirschfeld, The Algonquin Round Table, lithograph, edition of 110

Al Hirschfeld, The Algonquin Round Table, lithograph, edition of 110

EBay Item, April 2015
EBay Item Description
The original drawing differs from the lithograph in some of the background details. 
Al Hirschfeld, The Algonquin Round Table, drawing

Al Hirschfeld, The Algonquin Round Table, lithograph, edition of 110

Note:  There's more here about the great Al Hirschfeld, a legend in his own right.


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