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Morris Hirshfield

(1872—1946)


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(1872–1946).

Painter. Untrained as an artist, he turned to painting in 1937, upon retirement from the garment industry, and produced only seventy-seven known works. However, his imaginative visions almost immediately found favor in the New York art world. Surrealist leader André Breton spoke admiringly of his work, and in 1943 the Museum of Modern Art honored his achievement with a solo exhibition. Although he labored over realistic detail, a spirit of fantasy pervades his patterned compositions. His most popular works offer naively rendered nude females in stylized settings. Inseparable Friends (Museum of Modern Art, 1941) depicts two paper-doll women holding hands as they approach a decoratively edged mirror that reflects one of them. A stylized potted plant and two pairs of fancy high-heeled shoes complete the foreground, while a flattened swag of drapery fills the upper part of the canvas. Among other subjects, Hirshfield particularly favored animals, which he often adapted from children's book illustrations. Born in the Polish sector of Russia, he moved permanently to New York in 1890.

Subjects: Art.


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