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No Ninas

A warning to Hirschfeld followers is prompted by a report from the Archives of American Art, to which the artist has given his papers. Among them are ''plaintive letters with tear sheets enclosed. 'Where is Nina in this one? So far I found all the other Ninas!' ''

Nina is Hirschfeld's daughter, whose name he repeatedly works into his drawings, with a tiny number indicating how many times. Devotees do not rest until they find every one.

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Once, according to the archives, Hirschfeld slipped Sammy in also, referring to a friend of Nina's, Samantha Drake, daughter of actor Alfred Drake. ''But, never again,'' says Hirschfeld. ''Letters from as far away as Alaska came congratulating us on the birth of a son, and the Walter Winchell column had us 'infantisizing.' ''

The warning is: Save yourself. There are no Ninas - or Sammys - in these pages, as far we know.

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