A non-profit that exhibits art by the late theater and screen caricaturist Al Hirschfeld has filed a lawsuit against a New York gallery that has long sold his work, court records on Wednesday showed.

In a statement on its website, the Al Hirschfeld Foundation said it is ending its September 2000 agreement with Margo Feiden Galleries Ltd and Margo Feiden over the sale and exhibition of his works because they "have ceased operating in a manner consistent with the terms and spirit of the parties' agreement."

The lawsuit was filed this month under seal in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan against the gallery and Feiden.

A copy was not immediately available, but a judge on Wednesday ordered the complaint unsealed.

Feiden had no immediate comment.

Hirschfeld was known for inserting the name of his daughter Nina several times in his caricatures.

Finding the Ninas became a popular pastime for many people, including the readers of The New York Times, which regularly published Hirschfeld's work.

Hirschfeld died in 2003 at the age of 99. The non-profit was set up the next year to promote interest in the theater and dramatic arts, including by exhibiting Hirschfeld's works.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York, editing by G Crosse)