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Enrique Riverón papers, 1918-1990s

Enrique Riverón papers, 1918-1990s

Riverón, Enrique, 1902-1998

Cartoonist, Sculptor, Painter, Illustrator

Collection Information

Size: 3.3 linear ft.

Summary: Correspondence, writings and diary entries, scrapbooks, printed materials, and photographs documenting Riveron's career as an illustrator, cartoonist, painter and sculptor in the United States, Cuba, and to a lesser degree, his teaching career at Wichita University, Kan.

Correspondence, 1941-1990, is with artists and others, including Mario Carreño, Julio de Diego, Attonio Gattorno, Langston Hughes, Alfredo Lozano, Antonio Prohias, Pauline and Frank Rebajes, Baruj Salinas, José Gomez Sicre, Adja Yunkers, and others. Most of the correspondence concerns Riverón's exhibitions.

Writings (1969-1985) are primarily Riverón's recollections of his trips to Paris and Madrid, and of the people he met in Latin America, Europe, and the U.S., among them Josephine Baker, Langston Hughes, Federico Garcia Lorca, Kiki de Montparnasse, Mario Moreno (Cantinflas), Pablo Picasso, and Walter Pidgeon. There are also poetry, notes on art and film projects, childhood recollections, and scattered diary entries (1929-1960), including an entry about his father's visit from Cuba in 1947.

Printed material (1918-1991) consists of exhibition announcements and catalogs, clippings, and magazines such as Bally-Hoo and Cine Mundial featuring his caricatures. Scrapbooks (1920s-1990s) contain clippings, printed cartoons and illustrations; and reviews of exhibitions from U.S. and Latin American newspapers.

Photographs (1918-1990) are of Riveron, his wife Noella, art work, artists, actors, musicians, and others, including Cundo Bermudez, Mario Carreño, Xavier Cugat, Ray Milland, Mario Moreno (Cantinflas), Pablo Neruda, Jose Clemente Orozco, Amelia Peláez, Alma Reed, Rosalind Russell, Juan José Sicre, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Rufino Tamayo, and Luis Gomez Waguemert.

Biographical/Historical Note

Painter, sculptor, cartoonist, illustrator; Miami, Fla.; b. 1902 in Cienfuegos, Cuba; d. 1998. Riverón traveled and studied under scholarship in his early twenties to France, Italy, Belgium, and Spain. He attended the Academia de San Fernando in Madrid and had a one man show in Paris as well as several in Havana and New York. For a number of years he was a cartoonist for Havana newspapers as well as for magazines such as the New Yorker, Life, and Cine Mundial which was published in New York and widely circulated in Latin America. He worked for a time in Hollywood for Disney. After 1940 he focused on painting and sculpture, and moved to Miami as an exile in 1964.


Donated 1996 by Patricia Riverón Lee, daughter of Riverón.

A Finding Aid to the Enrique Riverón Papers,
, in the Archives of American Art
Biographical Note
Painter, sculptor, cartoonist, and illustrator Enrique Riverón was born in 1902 in Cienfuegos, Cuba and belonged to the first generation of Cuban modernists, experimenting with Cubism and pursuing abstraction from very early on in his career. During his early twenties Riverón traveled to France, Italy, Belgium, and Spain to study under scholarships and attend the Academia de San Fernando in Madrid. In 1926 Riverón's first major one-man exhibition took place at the Association Paris Amerique Latine where the catalog introduction was written by noted Mexican writer Alfonso Reyes.
In 1927 Riverón returned to Havana and had a one-man show of his European work at the Asociación de Pintores y Escultores, as well as several other shows in Havana and New York. He moved to the United States in 1930 and became a United States citizen in 1943.
In addition to being known for his naturalistic drawings of street life in Paris and Cuba, Riverón began working with collage in the 1930s and was, for a number of years, a cartoonist for newspapers in Havana and other publications such as
The New Yorker
Cine Mundial
which was published in New York and widely circulated in Latin America. He also worked in Hollywood for a time as an illustrator for Walt Disney Pictures.
From 1940 on, Riverón focused on painting and sculpture. He moved to Miami from Wichita, Kansas, in 1964. Enrique Riverón died in 1998.
The collection is organized into eight series.
Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1929-1960 (Box 1; 2 folders)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1918-1991 (box 1, 0.6 ft.)
Series 3: Writings, 1923-1980s, undated (box 1, 0.2 ft.)
Series 4: Scrapbooks, 1920s-1990s, undated (boxes 1, 3, and 4, 0.7 ft.)
Series 5: Artwork, 1958-1983, undated (boxes 1 and 5, 0.4 ft.)
Series 6: Printed Material, circa 1930-1992 (boxes 2 and 5, 0.7 ft.)
Series 7: Photographs, 1918-1992, undated (boxes 2, 5 and 6, 0.6 ft.)
Series 8: Miscellany, 1927-1989, undated (box 6, 7 folders)
Donated 1996 by Patricia Riverón Lee, daughter of Riverón.
Processing Information
The collection was processed by Rosa M. Fernandez in 1997. The finding aid was written by Stephanie Ashley in 2002.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Enrique Riverón papers, 1918-1990s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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