Artwork Detail

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

Part of Rauschenberg Research Project

  • Views of Robert Rauschenbergs <em>Collection</em> 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

  • 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, Wed Jan 02 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


These photographs, taken between 1969 and 2013, document changes in the appearance of Collection over time. The everyday materials Rauschenberg used, such as comic strips and newspaper clippings, magazine reproductions, and commercially printed fabrics, are inherently unstable, making changes in the color of the work inevitable. The artist acknowledged changes caused by the aging process as a natural and acceptable aspect of his work. The sequence also represents the four states of the veil and mirror. The 1969 photo shows the original veil, while the 1999 image depicts the piece with no veil. (Collection was shown and published without the veil from 1972 to 1999.) The 2010 photo shows the work as it appeared after the replacement of the veil in 1999. The 2013 photograph represents the most recent version of the veil, added in 2012. In this iteration the fabric has been shortened, bringing it closer to the size and shape of the original veil.