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José de Rivera papers, 1930-1991

José de Rivera papers, 1930-1991

De Rivera, José Ruiz, 1904-1985


Collection Information

Size: 5.3 linear feet

Biographical/Historical Note

José de Rivera (1904-1985) was a sculptor from New York, N.Y.


The José de Rivera papers were donated by the artist and the Grace Borgenicht Gallery in 1982. Additional material was donated by de Rivera's son, Joseph A. Ruiz II, in 1998.

Related Materials

Location of Originals

  • Portions of reel N70-32: Originals returned to Jose de Rivera after microfilming.

Scope and Contents

The papers of sculptor José de Rivera date from 1930 to 1991 and measure 5.3 linear feet. Found within the papers are biographical materials, letters, scattered personal business records, commission files, art work including four sketchbooks, printed material, and photographs. One of the commission files includes a motion picture film.

Biographical material consists of a biographical account, resumé, military service records, an interview transcript, certificates, addresses, and miscellaneous notes and writings.

Twenty-nine folders of letters are primarily from De Rivera's patron, attorney Howard Goldsmith, but also include single letters from Marcel Breuer, John Canaday, Emlen Etting, Dag Hammarskjold, and G. Vantongerloo.

Scattered personal business records include rental records, sculpture inventories, a contract, receipts, and miscellaneous records.

Commission files contain letters, contracts, receipts, clippings, blueprints, miscellaneous printed material, and photographs concerning several of De Rivera's commissions, including "Brussels Construction" for the Brussels Universal and International Exhibition, his sculpture for the 1964 New York World's Fair, and "Infinity", commissioned for the Smithsonian. A file for "Construction #73" completed for the American Iron and Steel Institute also contains a reel of 16mm motion picture film.

Art work consists of four sketchbooks, drawings, and geometric collages including detached cut out shapes.

Printed material includes primarily clippings and exhibition announcements and catalogs. There is also a copy of the book, "José de Rivera Constructions," by Dore Ashton and Joan M. Marter. Photographs are of De Rivera, miscellaneous art-related events, his studio, his art works, and of miscellaneous exhibition installations. Commission files also contain photographs.

In 1970, JosÔe de Rivera loaned some papers for microfilming. Loaned material is available on reel N70-32.

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

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