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Larry Rivers
The Athlete's Dream
1956
oil
82 1/8 x 118 3/4 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc.



This emotionally charged scene combines imaginative portraits of Larry Rivers, the poet Frank O'Hara, and Rivers's mother-in-law, Berdie Burger. Rivers and O'Hara were close friends and collaborated on several projects. Rivers considered Berdie a living saint, and she continued to share his home long after he and his wife had separated.