Original Crow Quill Pen & Ink Drawing on Artists’ Board
Hand signed in Ink by Al Hirschfeld
2002, 27" (h) x 21" (w)
Al Hirschfeld Archive #3972
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It is a credit to both Hirschfeld and his subject: you don't see her face, but you know who she is. She is instantly recognizable, even from the back.
The setting is Madison Square Garden. The date is May 19, 1962. Marilyn Monroe is singing "Happy Birthday" to the President, John F. Kennedy. Who would have believed it then, seeing them that night, that in our memories neither of them would get a minute older.
Hirschfeld was well acquainted with Marilyn, and saw her frequently when she lived in New York. He knew early on about the special relationship that Marilyn shared with the President. She told Hirschfeld of how she was whisked around by the Secret Service into various parts of the White House; she complained that, with all the whisking, there wasn't enough attention from her paramour "beforehand." In characteristic Hirschfeld style, his advice was short and to the point: "For God's sake, Marilynthe man is the President of the United States! He doesn't have the time."