HirschfeldAdd to cart
The definitive biography of Al Hirschfeld, renowned caricaturist and artist.
Al Hirschfeld knew everybody and drew everybody. He occupied the twentieth century, and illustrated it. Hirschfeld: The Biography is the first portrait of the renowned artist’s life—as spirited and unique as his pen-and-ink drawings. Beginning in the 1920s, he caricatured Hollywood actors, Washington politicians, and—his favorite—celebrities of the stage. Broadway belonged to Hirschfeld. His work appeared in the New York Times and other publications, as well as on book jackets, album covers, posters, and postage stamps, for more than seventy-five years.
He lived in Paris, Moscow, and Bali, and in a pink New York townhouse on a star-studded block where his closest friends—Carol Channing, S. J. Perelman, Gloria Vanderbilt, Brooks Atkinson, Elia Kazan, Marlene Dietrich, and William Saroyan—flocked in and out. He played the piano, went to jazz joints with Eugene O’Neill, and wrote a musical that bombed. He drove until he was ninety-eight years old and always found a parking space. He worked every day, threw dinner parties twice a week, and hosted New Year’s Eve soirees that were legendary. He had three wives, a formidable agent, and a daughter, Nina, the most famous little girl that no one knows.
Hirschfeld died in 2003, at the age of ninety-nine. “If you live long enough,” he liked to say, “everything happens.” For him, it did. And good and bad—it’s all here. Through interviews with Hirschfeld himself, his friends and family (including the mysterious Nina), and his famous subjects, as well as through letters, scrapbooks, and home movies, Ellen Stern has crafted a delightful, detailed, and definitive portrait of Al Hirschfeld, one of our most beloved, and most influential, artists.
Leonardo Da VinciAdd to cart
The #1 New York Times bestseller from Walter Isaacson brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography that is “a study in creativity: how to define it, how to achieve it…Most important, it is a powerful story of an exhilarating mind and life” (The New Yorker).
Based on thousands of pages from Leonardo da Vinci’s astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Walter Isaacson “deftly reveals an intimate Leonardo” (San Francisco Chronicle) in a narrative that connects his art to his science. He shows how Leonardo’s genius was based on skills we can improve in ourselves, such as passionate curiosity, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted with fantasy.
He produced the two most famous paintings in history, The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. With a passion that sometimes became obsessive, he pursued innovative studies of anatomy, fossils, birds, the heart, flying machines, botany, geology, and weaponry. He explored the math of optics, showed how light rays strike the cornea, and produced illusions of changing perspectives in The Last Supper. His ability to stand at the crossroads of the humanities and the sciences, made iconic by his drawing of Vitruvian Man, made him history’s most creative genius.
In the “luminous” (Daily Beast) Leonardo da Vinci, Isaacson describes how Leonardo’s delight at combining diverse passions remains the ultimate recipe for creativity. So, too, does his ease at being a bit of a misfit: illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily distracted, and at times heretical. His life should remind us of the importance to be imaginative and, like talented rebels in any era, to think different. Here, da Vinci “comes to life in all his remarkable brilliance and oddity in Walter Isaacson’s ambitious new biography…a vigorous, insightful portrait” (The Washington Post).