Archivist, Hirschfeld Foundation
Talk and Opening Party
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Louise Kerz Hirschfeld retired as President of The Al Hirschfeld Foundation – which continues to honor her late husband and his art – upon the May 2015 opening of The Hirschfeld Century: An Al Hirschfeld Retrospective at the New-York Historical Society – the most ambitious Hirschfeld exhibition ever mounted, with a comprehensive and historic companion book. In her role with the Foundation, Mrs. Kerz Hirschfeld oversaw exhibitions, supervised publications, directed educational programs, and spearheaded philanthropic endeavors. Other key exhibitions under her charge included Al Hirschfeld: A Celebration of Hollywood and Broadway at the Huntsville Museum of Art; Brits on Broadway at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum; Hirschfeld on Tennessee Williams, a centenary exhibition in New Orleans; and Hirschfeld’s Hollywood at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles. One of the most exciting and rewarding ventures she pioneered under the Foundation’s continuing guidance is the collaboration with the New York City Board of Education to produce The Al Hirschfeld Project, a curriculum for teaching the arts in New York public schools.
During her earlier career as a theatre historian, she organized and created many exhibits such as The Theatre of Max Reinhardt and The Demille Dynasty, and worked in television production as a research consultant for major networks, museums and award winning producers. Mrs. Kerz Hirschfeld has also spent her time as a photographer and her work was exhibited at New York’s Leica Gallery. In collaboration with her then Foundation Co-Chair, Arthur Gelb of The New York Times, as well as producer Rocco Landesman, she was instrumental in securing the ultimate Broadway tribute for her late husband – the re-naming of the Martin Beck Theatre to the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. She was a Tony Award nominator for three years and served on the board of Robert Wilson’s The Watermill Center.
She and her husband Lewis B. Cullman were designated as New York City Living Landmarks in 2012. They have sponsored programs on WNET’s Treasures of New York featuring The New York Botanical Garden and were major contributors to the inaugural season of PBS NewsHour Weekend.