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MS Am 2719

Rivers, Larry, 1925-2002. Larry Rivers papers, 1950-1959: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: f
Call No.: MS Am 2719
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Rivers, Larry, 1925-2002.
Title: Larry Rivers papers,
Date(s): 1950-1959.
Quantity: 1 collection (.04 linear feet (1 folder)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Letters of the American painter and musician Larry Rivers to Margaret Harmsworth McCulloch with other correspondence and a photograph.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

2010M-85. Purchased with funds from the Amy Lowell Trust; received: 2011 April 11.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Melanie Wisner

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Larry Rivers Papers, 1950-1959 (MS Am 2719). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Related Materials

Additional material concerning Rivers's trip to Paris in 1950 and his friendship with Nell Blaine may be found in her diaries and correspondence held by the Houghton Library (see finding aid). Related material by Rivers is held in the Jane Freilicher papers also held by the Houghton Library (see finding aid).

Biographical / Historical

Larry Rivers was born Yitzhok Loiza Grossberg to Russian-Jewish parents in 1923 (sometimes claimed to be 1925) in the Bronx, New York, changing his name to Larry Rivers in 1940 after being introduced as "Larry Rivers and the Mudcats" performing at a local pub. From 1940-1945 he worked as a jazz saxophonist in New York City; he studied at the Juilliard School of Music in 1945-1946. Rivers took up painting in 1945 and studied at the Hans Hofmann School from 1947–1948 at the encouragement of Nell Blaine. Rivers embarked on a trip to Paris in 1950 to write poetry and study paintings in the Louvre; Blaine joined him after a few weeks, renting a studio in order to paint. He went on to become a filmmaker and occasional actor and became associated with Pop Art and the New York School. Rivers died in 2002.
Margaret Harmsworth McCulloch was a fellow painter and sculptor living in Paris and the daughter of Desmond Harmsworth, an artist and publisher.


Arranged alphabetically by author, then chronologically.

Scope and Contents

Includes letters to Margaret Harmsworth McCulloch (one with a sketch of Nell Blaine) and to her father, Desmond Harmsworth, a postcard with clipping from Nell Blaine to Rivers, a photograph of one of Rivers's paintings, and miscellaneous other papers.
Letters are autograph manuscript unless otherwise noted.

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