Back to IndieWire

From Cary Grant To Groucho: Captured In Caricature

From Cary Grant To Groucho: Captured In Caricature

I love caricatures and always have. This Wednesday, my friend Drew Friedman, one of today’s most inventive artists, is joining his gifted colleague Stephen Kroninger in presenting an illustrated lecture called “12 Legendary Caricaturists You’ve, (probably), Never Heard Of” at the Society of Illustrators in Manhattan. They plan to show more than 300 prime examples of celebrity caricatures that span the 20th century—many of them unseen in decades—by  such unsung masters as John Johns, Alan Jedla, Lou Hirshman, Sam Berman, George Wachsteter, Abel Ianiro, Bill Utterback, Al Freuh, Einar Nerman, Alex Gard, Jacques Kapralik, and William Auerbach Levy.

At one time, almost every newspaper and magazine employed at least one such artist, before photography supplanted the more whimsical approach to celebrity portraiture.

Some of these men were celebrated in their time, like Freuh, Berman, and Levy, while others (like John Johns, who worked mostly in his native Pittsburgh) never attained the notoriety of an Al Hirschfeld or Jack Davis. All of them did exceptional work which deserves to be better known today.

Movie buffs may be most familiar with the easily identifiable decoupage pieces by Kapralik, whose praises I have sung before. (Click HERE.) His caricatures even turned up onscreen every now and then in the main titles of major movies, as did Sam Berman’s sculptures of Carole Lombard and Fredric March for the opening of Nothing Sacred (1937).

Some of the more obscure artists in this program only became known to Friedman and Kroninger in recent years—thanks to the Internet. It’s nice to gaze at these images online, but wouldn’t it be great to assemble some of them in a traditional coffee table book?
To learn more about the Wednesday program, or to purchase tickets, click HERE.
To hear a lively interview with Drew and Stephen from The Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC, click HERE.

This Article is related to: News and tagged , , ,


Comments

Norm

The great thi g a out caricatures is the range of diversity in the ecageration. Hopefully this display will be peaceful and non-violent.Love Mort Drucker..has anyone captured the last 60years like Mort? Hecan shape a "line" as good or brttet than anyone…One of the top 10 people to meet, in any period of life, just glad we had this one…

lou minatto

Mort Drucker’s work will appear in a follow-up exhibition, "“12 Legendary Caricaturists You’ve, (probably), Heard Of”….

Tery Bigham

MAD alumni Mort Drucker has also contributed to the field of caricature. I remember his animated credits to the 1971 gangster spoof "The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight", where he caricatured Lionel Stander, Jo Van Fleet, Robert De Niro, Leigh Taylor-Young and Herve Villechaize (before "Fantasy Island" and "Man With the Golden Gun"!)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *