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Morris Hirshfield: A Personal View

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Event Details:

Morris Hirshfield Rediscovered, now on display at the Cantor Arts Center, is the first retrospective of the self-taught artist in over seventy-five years. Join Hirshfield’s grandson Robert Dennis Rentzer and exhibition curator Richard Meyer for an hour of remembrances and stories, including the surprising tale of the artwork (Dog and Pups) that the five-year-old “Dennis” (the middle name his older sister insisted he be known as) asked his grandfather to paint for him. This intimate in-person gathering will celebrate the extraordinary life of a Brooklyn Jewish immigrant artist who was propelled to fame in the early 1940s by the New York avant-garde, after a forty-year career in the garment industry and slipper-making business.

Admission and all programs at the Cantor Arts Center are always free! Space for this program is limited; advance registration is recommended. Those who have pre-registered will have priority for seating.

If you need a disability-related accommodation like ASL, please contact We ask that requests be made at least one week in advance of the event date.

Image courtesy of Rentzer family

Robert Dennis Rentzer is a lawyer and the executor of the Estate of Morris Hirshfield. He lives in Utah.

Richard Meyer is Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor in Art History at Stanford University, where he teaches courses in twentieth-century American art, the history of photography, arts censorship and the first amendment, curatorial practice, and gender and sexuality studies. He is the author, most recently, of Master of the Two Left Feet: Morris Hirshfield Rediscovered which was awarded the 2023 Dedalus Foundation Award for Outstanding Exhibition Catalogue. He is the author of Outlaw Representation: Censorship and Homosexuality in Twentieth-Century American Art and What Was Contemporary Art? as well as coeditor, with Catherine Lord, of Art and Queer Culture, and coauthor, with Peggy Phelan, of Contact Warhol: Photography without End. In 2023, Meyer wrote an amicus brief for a Supreme Court case concerning Warhol and the fair use of photography. After the case was decided, he published an op-ed in the New York Times titled “The Supreme Court was Wrong about Andy Warhol.”

IMAGE: Morris Hirshfield. Dogs and Pups (“To My Loving Grandson, Dennis”), 1944, oil on canvas, 26 x 19.5 inches (66 x 49.5 cm). Rentzer Family Collection. © 2021 Robert and Gail Rentzer for Estate of Morrish Hirshfield