For Crispus A


Larry Rivers


For Crispus A




Collage Print


217 Bowman Hall


Social Commentary


Martin Ackerman Foundation




Larry Rivers (1923 - 2002)

Larry Rivers was a multifaceted artist whose career spanned over five decades and encompassed a wide array of artistic disciplines. Born Yitzroch Loiza Grossberg in the Bronx, New York, he initially pursued a career as a jazz saxophonist before shifting to visual arts after being inspired by a painting by Georges Braque in 1945. Rivers studied under Hans Hofmann and earned a BA in art education from New York University in 1951. Known for his unique style that bridged Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art, Rivers' work defied easy categorization. His contributions to art included painting, sculpture, poetry, and film, and he was a vibrant personality who often intertwined his public persona with his art.

Rivers' impact on the art world is underscored by his early exhibitions and collaborations. His first solo exhibition was held in 1949 at the Jane Street Gallery in New York. Throughout the 1950s, he cultivated a creative partnership with poet Frank O’Hara, producing influential works such as "Stones," a series of lithographs combining poetry and visual art. His seminal painting "Washington Crossing the Delaware" (1953) marked a turning point in his career, cementing his reputation and being acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in 1955. Rivers continued to experiment and collaborate, working with notable figures like Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, and participating in various multimedia projects and exhibitions that explored the intersections of visual art, literature, and music.

In the latter part of his career, Rivers' work continued to evolve and gain recognition. He received numerous retrospectives, including a comprehensive show in 1965 that toured five U.S. museums. His exploration of historical and cultural themes was evident in projects like "The History of Matzoh (the Story of the Jews)" and "The History of Hollywood," which showcased his ability to blend historical narrative with artistic innovation. Rivers remained active in the art scene until his death in 2002, with his final years marked by significant exhibitions and continued experimentation. His legacy as a pioneering and eclectic artist was honored with extensive coverage in major publications, reflecting his lasting influence on contemporary art.



Physical Dimensions

19" x 27 1/2"

Original Format

Lithograph 3/150





Larry Rivers, “For Crispus A,” Furlong Gallery, accessed June 15, 2024,

Output Formats