Artwork Detail

Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Collection showing the mirror without the fabric veil

Part of Rauschenberg Research Project Home

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenbergs <em>Collection</em> showing the mirror without the fabric veil

    Robert Rauschenberg, Collection, 1954/1955 (detail)

  • Installation view of Robert Rauschenberg's Collection, Charles Egan Gallery, New York, 1954–1955

    Installation view of Robert Rauschenberg's Collection (1954/1955) in Bob Rauschenberg, Charles Egan Gallery, New York, December 1954–January 1955. Photo: Robert Rauschenberg, image courtesy the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

  • Photograph of Robert Rauschenberg's Collection (second state) published in 1961

    Robert Rauschenberg, Collection, 1954/1955. Leo Castelli Gallery Records, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Photo: Rudy Burckhardt, ca. 1961; © Estate of Rudy Burckhardt / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; pictured artwork © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

  • Installation view of Robert Rauschenberg's Collection, SFMOMA, 1978

    Installation view of Collection (1954/1955) in Aesthetics of Grafitti, SFMOMA, April 28–July 2, 1978

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Collection (verso) showing the abutment of two panels

    Robert Rauschenberg, Collection, 1954/1955 (detail of verso)

  • Photograph of Robert Rauschenberg's Collection prior to 2012 conservation treatment

    Photograph of Robert Rauschenberg's Collection (1954/1955) in 2010, prior to the 2012 conservation treatment of the veil

  • View of Robert Rauschenberg's Collection (verso) showing traces of glue or sizing

    Robert Rauschenberg, Collection, 1954/1955 (verso)

  • View of Robert Rauschenberg's Collection highlighting alterations made after it was first exhibited

    View of Robert Rauschenberg's Collection (1954/1955) with highlighting indicating alterations the artist made after the work was exhibited in Bob Rauschenberg, Charles Egan Gallery, New York, December 1954–January 1955

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Collection (verso) showing curved wooden element

    Robert Rauschenberg, Collection, 1954/1955 (detail of verso)

  • Views of Robert Rauschenberg's Collection documenting changes in appearance from 1969 to 2013

    Views of Robert Rauschenberg's Collection (1954/1955) documenting changes in appearance from 1969 to 2013. Photos taken in 1969, 1999, 2010, and 2013

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Collection (verso) showing red wooden element

    Robert Rauschenberg, Collection, 1954/1955 (detail of verso)

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Collection showing the mirror without the fabric veil

    Robert Rauschenberg, Collection, 1954/1955 (detail)

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Collection (verso) showing 1964 catalogue number

    Robert Rauschenberg, Collection, 1954/1955 (detail of verso)

  • Details of fabric in Robert Rauschenberg's Collection with a shirt of similar material

    Composite showing details from Robert Rauschenberg's Collection (1954/1955) alongside a shirt created of printed fabric similar to that used in the artwork

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Collection (verso) showing notation of price

    Robert Rauschenberg, Collection, 1954/1955 (detail of verso)

  • Details of Robert Rauschenberg's Collection (verso) showing fading of fabric

    Composite of two details showing fading of fabric on verso of Robert Rauschenbergs Collection (1954/1955). SFMOMA Conservation Department files

  • Collection

    Robert Rauschenberg, Collection, Thu Jan 03 12:00:00 PST 2013; oil, paper, fabric, wood, and metal on canvas, 80 in. x 96 in. x 3 1/2 in. (203.2 cm x 243.84 cm x 8.89 cm); Gift of Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson; © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY


This closeup view of Collection shows the mirror without the sheer fabric covering that is part of the artwork today. The original silk veil deteriorated over time and became detached from the piece in 1972. The weakened condition of the silk made it impossible to reattach. Between 1998 and 1999, SFMOMA conservators consulted with Rauschenberg about the missing fabric, and he decided to dye a new piece to use as a replacement. The 1999 replacement was dyed to match the original using wine and tea, organic compounds that subsequently faded.

In 2012, the museum's conservators replaced the fabric again, this time with a fabric that had been custom-dyed to match the original veil using colorfast dyes. This photo was taken just before the new fabric was attached, and documents what the mirror looked like bare. The yellow square with a green circle visible in this image is a small piece of a textile that Rauschenberg used in several works of 1954/1955, notably Yoicks (1954, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York). In the mid- to late 1950s, the artist frequently worked with pieces of cut-up fabric. Segments of matching material can be found in multiple works from these years, often appearing in works made as many as three to four years apart.