He was one of my icons and inspirations already when studying for my B.A. in Advertising design at NYIT.
I was also lucky enough to meet this master artist at a booksigning session at Olssson's in WashDC when his "life's work" anthology was published. It was close to the holidays and everyone that was giving the book as a gift ( including to themselves) was asking for a dedication to whatever name the book was going to. I took the road less traveled in thinking ahead toward what dedication would carry more intrinsic value-added when , if ever ,the time would come when I might sell it.
I imagined that a true diehard collector who would be far more interested in the "Al Hershfeld" than the "To John Q Public" dedication. So knowing I'd have only this one chance to "get it right" all i could think of for the dedication was " From One New Yorker to Another_ Al Hirshfeld". I kind of got a ense of how right i got it when the artist read what I wanted for the dedication and he
knowingly chuckled and signed with a knowing smile and flourish.
For those who would genuinely like to know just how much of a slice of New York this master artist was ,spanning over 70 years, go rent or buy the documnetary about him entitled "The Line King". I can only hope a retrospective of the entire body of his New York Times work is published as part of a DVD-ROM.
He truly was a master illustrator whose ingenious economy of line mastery was every bit as much his signature as his actual one. Glad I finally met someone I so admired.
For anyone interested in learning of