Master of the Two Left Feet: Morris Hirshfield Rediscovered

The book and related exhibition, “Morris Hirshfield Rediscovered” (American Folk Art Museum in New York, up through Jan 29, 2023), tell the unlikely story of an Jewish immigrant tailor and slipper-maker in Brooklyn who became, against all odds, an internationally recognized artists in the early 1940s.  Since his death in 1946, however, his art and life have been largely forgotten.  Until now.  Meyer spent the last ten years researching and writing about the artist which led to his curation of the first Hirshfield retrospective in 80 years.  Both the book and the show required sleuthing on Meyer’s part to locate Hirshfield paintings (the whereabouts of many were previously unknown) and gain direct access to them.  This required travel not only within the U.S. but also to the U.K, France, Germany, and Italy.  The show was sparked, in part, by Meyer’s conviction that contemporary viewers should have the opportunity to see Hirshfield’s intricate, dazzling, and delightfully weird paintings in person.  He has been gratified by the enthusiastic reception of the artist’s long obscured work.

The book was chosen as one of the best of 2022 by the New Yorker and the show was also selected as one of the best exhibitions of the year by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Hyperallergic's top 10.

"Fascinating reading." - The New York Times

"Provocative and audacious.... Meyer opens up art history." - Oxford Art Journal

"A labor of love.... One of the Best Books of 2022." - The New Yorker

"The definitive book on the artist." - The Wall Street Journal


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