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José de Rivera papers, 1930-1991

More Information

Jean Fitzgerald
Scope and Contents
The papers of sculptor José de Rivera date from 1930 to 1991 and measure 5.6 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, José de Rivera loaned the Archives of Amrican Art material for microfilming. The artist and the Grace Borgenicht Gallery donated additional papers in 1982 and De Rivera's son, Joseph A. Ruiz II, gave more material in 1998.
Separated Material
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reel N70-32) including biographical material, correspondence, writings, drawings, printed material, and photographs. Loaned material was returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Processing Information
The collection was processed by Jean Fitzgerald in March 2011. Motion picture film reels were inspected and re-housed in 2017 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund.