Lou Hirshman


Slapper and Slapped: Littlefield (left) smiles while Hirshman winces from a sore cheek of criticism.

In 1937, Lou Hirshman created one of his most famous caricatures – Adolf Hitler – complete with a dustpan scoop of shit for the brown-shirted despot lying in a dirty gutter. Had Hirshman been under the Früher’s rule, the constructor of that construction would certainly have been arrested, tortured and made to stand before a firing squad.

A year after the Hitler caricature, another of Hirshman’s stinging renderings would also cause him to suffer for his artistic cleverness. Not a fatal Hitler shot to the heart, but a whack across his cheek from a slapping ballerina in a rage of wrath.


The story all began on April 27, 1938.

Hirshman, a member of Philadelphia Artists Union which was planning a May 7 costume gala called the Bal Masque, was working in his studio. Catherine Littlefield, the founder, choreographer and premier ballerina of

Ballet Americana: Littlefield in Indian dress and caricature.

the internationally acclaimed Philadelphia Ballet, had gotten wind of an uncomplimentary sketch Hirshman had done of her – a pen-and-ink caricature of her dancing, not as a ballerina dressed in a tutu, but as a stomping Indian squaw with a tomahawk. Hirshman had made the sketch as a design for a 20-foot-tall papier-mâché figure for the Bal Masque.

The enraged Littlefield stormed into his studio accompanied by what Hirshman described as a couple of “big, husky brutes.” A United Press article reconstructed the scene as Littlefield bellowed:

“Where is that picture?” Hirshman looked at her companions and offered no resistance. With one quick movement, she tore the sketch in two and with another her right hand connected with his left cheek. “I didn’t mind the slap as much as destroying my sketch,” Hirshman said later, adding that he was doing it over. “That was a slap of art.”


In another report, Littlefield saw herself – not Hirshman – as the real victim, describing the caricature as a slap at “the big things I am trying to do” in ballet.

New Art Form: Hirshman examines the latest movement in art – the avant-garde rip.

One report pegged Littlefield as “Kitty the Killer,” with another saying she “swings a mean right.” Time Magazine noted that in one published report, Littlefield contended it was a “half-swing” that was “more of a push.” But based on another report, the popular weekly magazine quoted the dancer as being less decorous. “My impulse is never to hit,” Time reported. “I incline to the tearing of limb from limb.”

The Philadelphia Evening Bulletin wrote that Hirshman intended to have her arrested. In the other city’s main newspaper, The Philadelphia Inquirer, a columnist went further:

Louis (He Who Got Slapped) Hirshman, the caricaturist, has retained Attorney David Serber to collect $10,000 in damages…for the hay-maker [Littlefield] delivered to his jaw.


The same columnist, sounding a bit dismayed in a later report that the slapper and slappee had undercut his scoops by mending fences, wrote:

The row between Louis (He Who Got Slapped) Hirshman and Catherine Littlefield…has been amicably settled, with an apology from the noted ballerina and all’s too, too ducky for the moment.

Don’t Cry, Cathy: Littlefield’s likeness may not have graced the Bal Masque, but Betty Hirshman (left), posing with husband Lou, was a Belle of the Ball with her prize-winning costume.

“Ducky” is an interesting word, insinuating that there may have been a cozy collusion between the two protagonists. Indeed, it is possible that all of the column inches the event generated were not based on a real occurrence, but rather a publicity stunt. Given Hirshman’s suit for damages of $10,000, equal to an incredible $170,000 in 2017 dollars, such an event would seem more apocryphal than actual. Perhaps the alleged act was only meant to benefit both Littlefield’s ballet company (it closed down in 1941) and the planned Artists Union’s Bal Masque. The group of artists with a mere 100 members was able – reportedly – to pull in 2,500 guests for the May 7 costume ball.


Whether the ballroom was graced by the large papier-mâché figure of Littlefield, as had been Hirshman’s stated intention, was not mentioned in any reports. And if it was actually constructed, whether it won one of the prizes is unknown. The only certainty is that Hirshman’s wife Betty was awarded a prize for her costume portraying Liberty.

But if indeed this 1938 event was real and Littlefield’s enraged hand had actually reddened the cheek of the witty artist known for his no-holds-barred parody of the famous, Hirshman might have taken solace in one thing. A slap by an affronted ballerina is far less deadly than the vengeful sentence of a mouth-foaming Früher.

William Hirshman


  1. Shelli Shaw - 30. May 2017 17:50

    William Hirshman: Great, well-written article! Love learning all about your dad. And that pic of your parents is absolutely stunning.

  2. William - 31. May 2017 11:12

    The fact that the sketch was only partially torn – in other words, not into two separate pieces – seems to give more credibility to the hypothesis that it was for publicity, since such a rip looks better in a newspaper photo. After all, despite the delicate appearance of ballerinas, they are strong creatures. And what chance would a thin piece of paper have against a dancing Wonder Woman schooled in the art of a Grande Jeté?

  3. TerrePoZed - 26. May 2020 13:31

    Through the method, if you are creating an AI premise, speak to other people: AI individuals have their personal device of regulations. “… a renowned researcher …” Never mind that stated it or that performed it. As a matter of fact, such claims bias the viewers. Be Actually Careful When Using “few, very most, all, any kind of, every”. If a paragraph mentions “Many pc devices consist of X”, you must manage to defend it. Are you sure you actually understand the simple facts? The amount of computers were constructed and sold yesterday? “must”, “constantly” “should” “verification”, “confirm” Would a math wizzard concede that it’s an evidence? “show” Made use of in the feeling of “show”

    dissertation writing process

  4. can i buy hydroxychloroquine over the counter - 27. May 2020 08:13

    can i buy hydroxychloroquine over the counter https://hydroxychloroquine1st.com/

  5. RichardTwind - 3. June 2020 21:45

    viagra online: generic viagra coupon viagra wholesale

  6. Teofef - 6. June 2020 02:00

    buy ampicillin

  7. tadalafil generic - 6. June 2020 15:11

    generic for cialis
    cialis for women blogs log in
    10 mg tadalafil generic
    – generic cialis pills online usa
    cialis spam filter ciallis cia11is

  8. best place to buy generic cialis online - 7. June 2020 06:21

    best place to buy generic cialis online https://www.wisig.org/

  9. EstherSpill - 11. June 2020 00:23

    Bafzze swaasm pharmacy online canadian pharmacy

  10. EstherSpill - 11. June 2020 19:58

    Hwwwqb ltfhkm canadian pharmacy viagra online pharmacy

  11. EstherSpill - 12. June 2020 19:29

    Ynpxtm panegu pharmacy online canadian pharmacy online

  12. EstherSpill - 13. June 2020 21:14

    Hzrdnz rsikmx Buy cheap viagra online Free viagra sample

  13. EstherSpill - 14. June 2020 16:51

    Yonjyb pveaeo viagra generic Buy viagra cheap

  14. EstherSpill - 15. June 2020 11:17

    Ufdowc reizxg Canadian pharmacy viagra legal Order viagra without prescription

  15. EstherSpill - 16. June 2020 08:32

    Qmmuzt hvnxcj Best price viagra walmart pharmacy

  16. EstherSpill - 17. June 2020 01:52

    Nkhcud jjcpfa Cialis store online pharmacy

  17. EstherSpill - 18. June 2020 14:30

    Zkjlgd xsijcz Buy cheap cialis online walmart pharmacy

  18. Generic viagra cheap - 19. June 2020 09:59

    Yjbwks ggzxza vardenafil for sale

  19. How to get viagra - 20. June 2020 04:13

    Exntkh tobyqv levitra

  20. Price check 50mg viagra - 20. June 2020 21:57

    Prmkmt yqcalr levitra pill

  21. Buy cheap viagra - 22. June 2020 10:55

    Bdfilu dnvchj kamagra 100mg cheap erectile dysfunction pills online

  22. Viagra alternative - 23. June 2020 07:15

    Ssqava ciayhh casino online real money sugarhouse casino online nj

  23. Order viagra without prescription - 23. June 2020 21:34

    Sghlei bvueus vardenafil coupon online pharmacy

  24. Overnight canadian viagra - 24. June 2020 03:14

    Tgdbit aljcnl online casinos for usa players hollywood casino online real money

  25. Generic viagra us - 25. June 2020 05:06

    Tndqct fvaziu generic propecia ed medications

  26. Murrayhot - 26. June 2020 02:24

    buy anti biotics without prescription prices of viagra at walmart
    onlinepharmacyero.com google viagra dosage recommendations

  27. Buy pfizer viagra online - 26. June 2020 09:12

    Bjvhvw narcze order viagra best erection pills

  28. Viagra overnight - 27. June 2020 02:24

    Drocsq akimko cialis generic online online canadian pharmacy

  29. Low cost canadian viagra - 27. June 2020 12:02

    Nouqld krhkls viagra dosage ed meds online without doctor prescription

  30. Samples of viagra - 28. June 2020 12:22

    Cifjut ssldpe ocean casino online nj ocean casino online

  31. Buy pfizer viagra online - 29. June 2020 08:18

    Kljpst vevujx slot machine games online casino games for real money

  32. Viagra in usa - 30. June 2020 01:27

    Ippipv tgnbqi online payday loans no credit check cash loans online

  33. Buy cheap viagra internet - 30. June 2020 02:08

    Kkqsej rtthze buy generic viagra online Buy viagra overnight delivery

  34. Female viagra - 30. June 2020 11:01

    Tcyjfs eneskz free slots online casino games

  35. Discount viagra no rx - 30. June 2020 20:38

    Xeinbx zjfusy bad credit loans online installment loans online

  36. Viagra jelly - 1. July 2020 10:30

    Syjzbo zqtggu cialis 5 mg pharmacy online

  37. Free viagra samples - 1. July 2020 13:25

    Zfabjf djmdha cash loans online casino slots

  38. Buy viagra with discount - 1. July 2020 20:14

    Zgkwzw evuaot quicken loans personal loans with bad credit

  39. Andrewmax - 2. July 2020 01:26

    cialis professional cialis 30 day trial voucher

  40. viagra no doctor prescription - 2. July 2020 19:36

    viagra no doctor prescription https://viatribuy.com/

  41. Approved viagra - 2. July 2020 21:08

    Trsbhx mmiqap online cash advance lenders online casinos real money

  42. Andrewmax - 2. July 2020 23:09

    free cialis medication for providers generic cialis available

  43. Canadian pharmacy viagra legal - 3. July 2020 09:43

    Ojszus citcki instant loans casino online usa

  44. Buy brand viagra - 3. July 2020 21:59

    Opwjbd olqctw quicken loans loans with bad credit

  45. online viagra prescription - 5. July 2020 01:36

    Rfwgdj icbsxm amoxicillin price at cvs amoxicillin price without insurance walmart

  46. cialis cialis generic - 5. July 2020 22:42

    Rhnuou lrzgef lasix medication lasix 40mg

  47. viagra online prescription free - 6. July 2020 13:24

    Lpwsro raeugx azithromycin zithromax

  48. cialis online reviews - 6. July 2020 18:58

    Civafu tzplqm Sildalis online Forzest online

  49. tadalafil 5mg - 7. July 2020 08:40

    Wyyggh jywabr lasix 100 mg tablet lasix tablet

  50. фитнес резинка купить киев - 7. July 2020 10:49

    фітнес резинки хорошої якості
    резинки для фитнес резинка купить киева купить черкасы
    regbnm abnytc htpbyre
    ризигка для спорта
    купити резинки для фітнеса
    резинкаи для фитнеса

  51. buy tadalafil - 8. July 2020 13:34

    Svpinu yopjya buy amoxicillin 500 mg canada amoxicillin on line

  52. cialis generic name - 8. July 2020 19:52

    Yxzuxe pixjwg furosemida lasix generic name

  53. is chloroquine available in us - 9. July 2020 02:21

    is chloroquine available in us https://chloroquine1st.com/

  54. tadalafil online canadian pharmacy - 10. July 2020 03:02

    Eqrnqr goljks Tadalista Eriacta


Have your say