Artwork Detail

Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Mother of God showing variations in map types

Part of Rauschenberg Research Project

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenbergs <em>Mother of God</em> showing variations in map types

    Robert Rauschenberg, Mother of God, ca. 1950 (detail)

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Mother of God showing a quotation from Catholic Review

    Robert Rauschenberg, Mother of God, ca. 1950 (detail)

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Mother of God (verso) showing framing supports

    Robert Rauschenberg, Mother of God, ca. 1950 (verso)

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Mother of God showing contours of circular form

    Robert Rauschenberg, Mother of God, ca. 1950 (detail)

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Mother of God showing variations in map types

    Robert Rauschenberg, Mother of God, ca. 1950 (detail)

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Mother of God showing layering of maps and paint

    Robert Rauschenberg, Mother of God, ca. 1950 (detail)

  • Mother of God

    Robert Rauschenberg, Mother of God, Thu Jan 03 00:00:00 PST 2013; oil, enamel, printed maps, newspaper, and metallic paint on Masonite, 48 in. x 32 1/8 in. (121.92 cm x 81.6 cm); Fractional purchase through a gift of Phyllis Wattis and promised gift of an anonymous donor; © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY; photo: Ben Blackwell


Rauschenberg used maps from at least two different Rand McNally & Company road atlases in Mother of God. Here we see a map of the Boston metropolitan area overlapping a map of Saint Louis. Because the lettering used to identify Boston’s Logan Airport did not appear until the 1949 edition of the road atlas, and the completed painting was shown at the Betty Parsons Gallery in May 1951, the work has been assigned a date of ca. 1950.