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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, Washington, 1963; to Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington, 1991
Photo: Paul Macapia
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistoryVancouver, British Columbia, Fine Arts Gallery, University of British Columbia, Art Becomes Reality, Jan. 29 - Feb. 8, 1964.

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

Washington, D.C., Washington Gallery of Modern Art, Twentieth Century Painting from Collections in the State of Washington, 1966.

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

Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Stedelijk Museum, Robert Rauschenberg, 1968 (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, Dec. 9, 1969 - Jan. 18, 1970 (Phoenix, Arizona, Phoenix Art Museum, Feb. - Mar. 1970; Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, May 22 - June 21, 1970).

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, American Art, Third Quarter Century, Aug. 22 - Oct.14, 1973. Cat. no. 53, reproduced p. 31.

Denver, Colorado, Denver Art Museum, The Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection: American Art Since 1960, Feb. 1 - Mar. 16, 1975. Cat. no. 22, reproduced n.p.

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 (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, Jan. 8 - Feb. 6, 1977).

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

Berlin, Germany, Zeitgeist-Gesellschaft Martin-Gropius-Bau, American Art in the 20th Century, May 8 - July 25, 1993, co-organized by Royal Academy of the Arts, London, England (Sept. 17 - Dec. 12, 1993).

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

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Hero/Antihero, Dec. 21, 2002 - Aug. 17, 2003.

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

Pullman, Washington, Museum of Art, Washington State University, Art and Context: The 1950s and 60s, Sept. 29 - Dec. 16, 2006. No cat. no., p. 54, reproduced frontispiece (detail), p. 55.

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.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Reverberations: Contemporary Art and Modern Classics, Dec. 22, 2022 - ongoing [on view Dec. 22, 2022 - June 11, 2023].
Published ReferencesHudson, Andrew. "A 'Freshness of Eye' Wafted in From the West Coast," in The Washington Post, 1966 (date unknown).

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

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