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Master of the Two Left Feet: Morris Hirshfield Rediscovered
Exhibition Catalogue Award 2023
The 2023 Dedalus Foundation Exhibition Catalogue Award, which recognizes an outstanding exhibition catalogue that makes a significant contribution to the scholarship of modern art or modernism, has been awarded to Master of the Two Left Feet: Morris Hirshfield Rediscovered (The MIT Press) by Richard Meyer.
This publication served as an essential companion to the exhibition “Morris Hirshfield Rediscovered” at the American Folk Art Museum in New York City. As Meyer notes, after the artist’s death in 1946, his work was largely forgotten. Master of the Two Left Feet rediscovers Hirshfield for twenty-first-century audiences, offering an incisive text and full-color reproductions that capture the vibrant imagination and sheer visual pleasure of Hirshfield’s paintings. The book also features a catalog of works compiled by Susan Davidson, which provides the most comprehensive documentation of the artist’s work ever assembled.
Ten years in the making, Master of the Two Left Feet presents Hirshfield’s unlikely career not only as a missing episode in the history of twentieth-century art but as a case study of the ways in which artists go missing from historical knowledge and public memory. By looking closely at Hirshfield and his milieu in 1940s Brooklyn, Meyer demonstrates how much we have yet to learn, and to see, of the visual past.