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Catalog Data

Al Hirschfeld, 21 Jun 1903 - 21 Jan 2003  Search this
Howard Da Silva, 1909 - 1986  Search this
Bert Weston, active 1930s  Search this
Olive Stanton, active 1930s  Search this
Marc Blitzstein, 2 Mar 1905 - 22 Jan 1964  Search this
Blanche Collins, 1910 - 1968  Search this
Ink and gouache on illustration board
Image: 30.8 x 27.3cm (12 1/8 x 10 3/4")
Sheet: 44.3 x 39.5cm (17 7/16 x 15 9/16")
Mat: 71.1 x 55.9cm (28 x 22")
Exhibition Label:
Counterclockwise from left: Howard da Silva (1909–1986), Marc Blitzstein (1905–1964), Blanche Collins (1910–1968), Olive Stanton (active 1930s), and Bert Weston (active 1930s)
In 1937, composer Marc Blitzstein made national headlines with his musical The Cradle Will Rock. The strongly pro-union play was directed by Orson Welles and produced by John Houseman for the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Theatre Project. Just as it was to open, word of the play’s ideological slant reached Washington. Congressional conservatives threatened the WPA’s funding. The Federal Theatre Project cancelled the play, and Actors’ Equity told Welles that none of the actors could appear on stage in the production. So Welles and Houseman moved the play to a different site, and had the actors perform from the audience, with Blitzstein narrating at the piano. Columnist Walter Winchell called the play a great "diversion" and New York Times critic Brooks Atkinson praised it as "the best thing militant labor has put into the theatre yet."
Music\Musical instrument\Piano  Search this
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Seating\Chair  Search this
Costume\Headgear\Hat  Search this
Equipment\Smoking Implements\Cigarette  Search this
Interior\Nightclub  Search this
Howard Da Silva: Male  Search this
Howard Da Silva: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor  Search this
Bert Weston: Male  Search this
Bert Weston: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor  Search this
Olive Stanton: Female  Search this
Olive Stanton: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor  Search this
Marc Blitzstein: Male  Search this
Marc Blitzstein: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Composer  Search this
Marc Blitzstein: Literature\Writer\Playwright  Search this
Marc Blitzstein: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Pianist  Search this
Blanche Collins: Female  Search this
Blanche Collins: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
© Al Hirschfeld. Art reproduced by special arrangement with Hirschfeld's exclusive representative, the Margo Feiden Galleries, Ltd., New York.
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National Portrait Gallery Collection
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery