Search the Collections

Larry Rivers (1923-2002)

Artist of 1 portrait
Born Yitzroch Grossberg in the Bronx, New York in 1923, Rivers began a career as a jazz saxophonist at the age of 17. In 1947 he enrolled at the Hans Hofmann School in New York, and was influenced by the Bonnard exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (1948). He joined 'The Club', the artists and writers of the New York School, including Jackson Pollock and de Kooning, and poets Kenneth Koch and Frank O'Hara. In 1951 he started making plaster sculpture, and his painting The Burial, the first in a series whose subject was the last of the Civil War veterans, Walter Williams. His subject matter remained rooted in popular culture, often in a reprise of a well-known image, and the popular history of America.

List Thumbnail


David Sylvester ('Mr Art')

by Larry Rivers
oil on canvas, 1962
On display in Room 32 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 6675