Marilyn Lewis Hirshleifer

A native of New York City, I moved to Palm Springs, CA in 1971 with my husband, Dr. Irving Hirshleifer, who founded The Stroke Recovery Center in Palm Springs.


My first career was in the textile industry, designing for a fabric company in Manhattan. During that period, I spent much of my spare time at the Art Students League where I studied the various mediums artists work in.


I experimented in contemporary, abstract, collage, sculpture, and other art forms and media.  Later in life, I became interested in African Art which now my focus.


I began working in Palm Springs with Jayne Behman, a mixed medium artist. She helped me to hone my skills and introduced me to Terry Masters, a well-respected plein air painter, and to David Fairrington. Under David’s guidance, I developed my painting beyond any expectation I had of myself.



My dear friends Doctors Gerry and Nancy Hardison traveled to Nairobi Kenya to teach--she to work at the African Nazarene University, and he to volunteer at the Nairobi Hospital. Dr. Gerry Hardison was asked by the Bishop to help St. Phillips Hospital in Maseno, Kenya. Soon after, Dr. Gerry Hardison was asked to help St. Phillip’s Hospital and Theological College, and Nancy Hardison became active at the St. Phillips Theological College, where she later became the principle. I paid my first visit to them in 2001.



During my travels, I became involved with the women’s union at St. Phillip’s. They were excellent seamstresses, working with no electricity on treadle machines. They sought my design expertise and advice on how manufacturing worked in the United States. I returned to visit the ladies six times between 2002 and 2011.


On these extended visits, I learned many things about the different tribes, their lifestyles, laws, and taboo’s, and the traditional meanings of their masks, arts, and symbols of worship that varied from tribe to tribe.


In this website there will be many paintings of the Masaai, also paintings of masks, and landscapes.



I hope you enjoy viewing my work.
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