Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Golding, Alan C.


O'Hara, Frank


This thesis focuses on twentieth-century poet Frank O'Hara and his relationship to painting and painters in New York in the 1950s. An examination of the concept of ekphrasis functions as a theoretical frame and substantiation for the discussion of O'Hara's life and poems. Painters Larry Rivers, Jane Freilicher, and Grace Hartigan had significant relationships with O'Hara, both personally and artistically. Michael Goldberg, Norman Bluhm, and Joe Brainard collaborated with him on several projects, each of which are discussed in terms of their combination of verbal and visual elements, of poet and painter working together or in tandem. Another example included in the exploration of O'Hara's connection to visual expression is a series of Apollinaire-inspired calligrams. Each element of the discussion helps define the specific context in which O'Hara worked, functioning as an example himself of the significant link painting and poetry have historically shared.