In 2012, SFMOMA paintings conservator Paula De Cristofaro replaced the fabric veil over the mirror in Collection for a second time. A 1999 replacement made with fabric dyed by Rauschenberg had faded over time due to the organic materials (tea and wine) used in the dyeing process. De Cristofaro matched the color carefully, using more colorfast synthetic dyes. After cutting the new fabric to the right size and shape based on photographs of the artwork from the 1950s and 1960s, she delicately removed the 1999 veil. Low heat loosened the adhesive to allow the 1999 fabric to be gently pulled away, and the new veil was attached in its place.
Video documenting SFMOMA conservation treatment of Robert Rauschenberg’s Collection (1954/1955), 2013
Total running time: 4 min. 20 sec.