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date: 01 March 2021

de Rivera, Josélocked

(18 September 1904–19 March 1985)
  • Joan M. Marter


de Rivera, José (18 September 1904–19 March 1985), sculptor, was born José A. Ruiz in West Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the son of Joseph V. Ruiz, a sugar mill engineer, and Honorine Montamat. De Rivera apparently chose his last name to honor his grandmother. While growing up on the sugar plantation where his father worked, de Rivera practiced blacksmithing and maintained machinery, mastering materials necessary for constructing sculpture in metal. De Rivera graduated from high school in 1922 and after working on a sugar plantation, moved to Chicago in 1924. During the day he worked in various tool and die shops and at night took classes at the Studio School. John Norton, his instructor in life classes, appreciated the three-dimensional aspects of de Rivera’s drawings and suggested that he try his hand at sculpture. In 1926 de Rivera married Rose Covelli, and they had one son....

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