In the fall of 1977, the New York Times added a special Arts and Leisure section to the Sunday paper to explore the new season of the arts in New York and around the country. They naturally chose Hirschfeld to pull together an unlikely assortment of individuals from the performing arts, as he had already produced iconic works in all the genres. There were few chances to put Cezanne, Neil Young, and Red Foxx in a drawing together, but the season ahead had roles for each one: a MOMA retrospective, a new album Rust Never Sleeps, and a new self-titled TV series respectively. This drawing features some cross-cultural moments such as Bette Midler dancing Balanchine’s “Seven Deadly Sins” and Rudolf Nureyev acting the title role in the film, Valentino. Theatre was at the center of Hirschfeld’s new season, including many famous subjects like Jason Robards Jr. (in a revival of Eugene O’Neill’s A Touch of the Poet), Anne Bancroft (in Golda) and Neil Simon (writing Chapter Two). His portrait of Zero Mostel would be his last from life as the actor died after the first performance of a new play, The Merchant, in Philadelphia during its pre-Broadway tryout.
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