Larry R. Collins was born in Spokane, Washington, in 1945 and raised in Del City, Oklahoma. His artistic career began at age 17, when Dorothy Miller, former curator of collections at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, selected one of his abstract paintings for an important regional exhibition at the Oklahoma Art Center. After receiving his BFA from the University of Oklahoma in 1967, Collins was drafted into the Army and sent to Vietnam. During the war, he served as an infantryman and a combat illustrator.

Collins received his MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 1980. He has since been an adjunct professor at MassArt, as well as the University of New Hampshire and Montserrat College of Art. Having exhibited internationally, his paintings, drawings, photographs, and artist’s books are included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; International Center of Photography; New York Public Library; Sheldon Museum of Art; Wadsworth Atheneum; Worcester Art Museum; Provincetown Art Association and Museum; Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art; Amarillo Museum of Art; and others. He has collaborated on limited-edition books with the poets Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Eileen Myles.

In 2010, he was honored with a 50-year retrospective exhibition at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, “Larry R. Collins: Finding Light.” In 2017, the Amarillo Museum of Art presented a retrospective of his Vietnam War photography and paintings, “Larry R. Collins: Remember Me.”