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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)


Photo: Paul Macapia



Robert Rauschenberg

American, 1925 - 2008

Competing images on television inspired a new kind of text for Manuscript. Between 1962 and 1964, Rauschenberg created a large series of works that combined silkscreen printing with painted passages. With a backdrop of rising tensions and U.S. involvement in Vietnam, this work combines established symbols of power, such as the bald eagle, with contemporary technology and news imagery. The expressive brushstrokes partly obscure but also animate the silkscreened photographs.
Oil on canvas
84 x 60 in. (213.36 x 152.4 cm)
Gift of the Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection
Provenance: [Leo Castelli Gallery, New York]; Purchased from gallery by Virginia and Bagley Wright, Seattle, November 26, 1963.
Photo: Paul Macapia
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistoryVancouver, British Columbia, University of British Columbia, UBC Fine Arts Gallery, Art Becomes Reality, January 29 - February 8, 1964

Portland, Oregon, Portland Art Museum, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. C. Bagley Wright: Twentieth Century American and European Paintings and Sculpture, November 8 – December 6, 1964, no. 46.

Washington, D.C., Washington Gallery of Modern Art, Twentieth Century Painting from Collections in the State of Washington, (dates not recorded),1966

Museum of Modern Art, International Council organizer, Two Decades of American Painting, 1966-67 (circuited to: Tokyo; Kyoto; New Delhi; Melbourne; Sydney)

Amsterdam, Netherlands, Stedelijk Museum, Robert Rauschenberg, 1968 (circuited to: Cologne, Germany, Kolnischer Kunstverein; Paris, France, Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris)

Newport Beach / Balboa, California, Newport Harbor Art Museum, Robert Rauschenberg in Black and White. Paintings 1962-63, Lithographs 1962-67, December 9, 1969 – January 18, 1970, (Circuit: Phoenix, Arizona, Phoenix Art Museum, February – March, 1970; Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, May 22 – June 21, 1970).

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, American Art, Third Quarter Century, August 22- October 14, 1973.

Denver, Colorado, Denver Art Museum, The Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection: American Art Since 1960, February 1 – March 16, 1975, no. 22.

Santa Barbara, California, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, The Seattle Show, May 9 - June 22, 1975. No cat. no., reproduced n.p.

Baltimore, Maryland, Baltimore Museum of Art, Two Hundred Years of American Painting, dates unknown, 1976 – 1977 loan period, (Circuit: Bonn, Germany, Rheinishces Landesmusuem; Belgrade, Serbia, Museum of Modern Art; Rome, Italy, Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea; Warsaw, Poland, National Museum of Poland; Baltimore, Maryland, Maryland Academy of Sciences, January 8 – February 6, 1977).

New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, Robert Rauschenberg: The Silkscreen Paintings, 1962 – 1964, December 7, 1990 – March 17, 1991.

Berlin, Germany, Zeitgeist-Gesellschaft Martin-Gropius-Bau, May 8 – July 25, 1993 (co-organized by and traveled to: London, England, Royal Academy of the Arts, American Art in the 20th Century, September 17 – December 12, 1993)

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, The Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection of Modern Art, March 4, 1999 - May 5, 1999

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Hero/Antihero, December 21, 2002 - August 17, 2003

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Modern in America, July 8, 2004 - February 27, 2005

Pullman, Washington, Museum of Art Washington State University, Art and Context: the 1950s and 60s, September 29 – December 15, 2006.

Madrid, Spain, Fundacion Coleccion Thyssen-Bornemisza, Rauschenberg: Express, November 7, 2006 - February 18, 2007

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, City of Tomorrow: Jinny Wright and the Art That Shaped a New Seattle, Oct. 23, 2020 - Jan. 18, 2021.

Published Referencesvan der Marck, Jan, "American Art: Third Quarter Century", Seattle Art Museum, 1973, cat. no. 53, illus. p. 31

"The Seattle Show." Santa Barbara, CA: The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1975, illus. (pages unnumbered)

Hudson, Andrew. "A 'Freshness of Eye' Wafted in From the West Coast," in The Washington Post, 1966 (date unknown)

"Collection of Mr. and Mrs. C. Bagley Wright: Twentieth Century American and European Paintings and Sculpture," Portland, OR: Portland Art Museum, Nov. 8-Dec. 6, 1964, no. 46.

Maytham, Thomas N. et al. “The Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection: American Art Since 1960.” Denver: Denver Art Museum, 1975, cat. no. 22 (pages unnumbered), illus. opposite “Fortin de las Flores”, Frank Stella.

“The Seattle Show.” Santa Barbara, CA: The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1975. Unpaginated, illustrated.

Bruce, Chris and Keith Wells. “Art & Context: The ‘50s and ‘60s.” Pullman, Washington: Museum of Art, 2006. Pp.1 (detail), 54-55 (illustrated).

Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are on the traditional homelands of the Duwamish and the customary territories of the Suquamish and Muckleshoot Peoples. As a cultural and educational institution, we honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future. We also acknowledge the urban Native peoples from many Nations who call Seattle their home.

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