Harlem As Seen By Hirschfeld
An 80th Anniversary Exhibition
December 12, 2021

On December 7, 1941, the now defunct Hyperion Press published Harlem As Seen By Hirschfeld, an oversized limited edition album of 24 color lithographs by Hirschfeld, with a foreword by William Saroyan. 19 images were of scenes from life in Harlem, while 5 touched on his experience in Bali nine years earlier. Because its release coincided with the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hirschfeld’s achievement was lost in the lead up to America’s declaration of war, and subsequently its involvement in World War II. Hirschfeld genuinely loved these prints, and the hallway leading to his studio was lined with all 24 prints framed so that he could see them each time he entered.

He printed the color lithographs at the Brooklyn Home for the Blind with his friend, fellow artist Don Freeman. There the two created and printed more than 1,000 prints of each image on a multilith printer for both the book (a limited, numbered edition of 1,000) and...