New Robert Rauschenberg Digital Collection Lets You Download Free High-Res Images of the Artist’s Work


After the wan­ing of abstract expres­sion­ism, Robert Rauschenberg’s exu­ber­ant prints, paint­ings, sculp­tures, and three-dimen­sion­al col­lages he called “Com­bines” reju­ve­nat­ed the New York art world and helped bring pop art to promi­nence, antic­i­pat­ing Warhol’s exper­i­ments. And now stu­dents of twen­ti­eth-cen­tu­ry Amer­i­can art can con­nect with all of the artist’s work in the San Fran­cis­co Muse­um of Mod­ern Art’s per­ma­nent col­lec­tion with­out set­ting foot in the Bay area, thanks to SFMOMA’s Rauschen­berg Research Project, which allows users to down­load high res images of the muse­um’s Rauschen­bergs. Research materials—including com­men­tary, inter­views, essays, and more—accompany each image. Click­ing on the main link for each image will send you to a page with a lengthy descrip­tion. Scrolling down to the bot­tom of the page, you’ll find indi­vid­ual links for each of the asso­ci­at­ed files and an omnibus link for all of them at once.

It’s cer­tain­ly not a sub­sti­tute for see­ing the work up close in all its onto­log­i­cal mate­ri­al­i­ty, but it’s still quite a won­der­ful resource for researchers, art his­to­ri­ans, and even gen­er­al enthu­si­asts of Rauschen­berg, par­tic­u­lar­ly since many of the works in SFMOMA’s data­base are not cur­rent­ly on dis­play (and the muse­um is tem­porar­i­ly closed dur­ing an expan­sion). A paint­ing you can’t see in per­son is the dense col­lage Moth­er of God (at top), one of Rauschenberg’s ear­li­est sur­viv­ing paint­ings from a peri­od in the 50s when the artist explored sev­er­al reli­gious themes. The painting’s brown back­ground is com­posed of lay­ers of maps of Amer­i­can locales, and the site allows you to zoom in and exam­ine each one in fine detail. In the video above—one of the dig­i­tal project’s col­lec­tion of artifacts—see Rauschen­berg dis­cuss the paint­ing with cura­tor Wal­ter Hopps and SFMOMA Direc­tor David A. Ross in a 1999 inter­view.

via Metafil­ter

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Rauschen­berg Eras­es De Koon­ing

The Rijksmu­se­um Puts 125,000 Dutch Mas­ter­pieces Online, and Lets You Remix Its Art

LA Coun­ty Muse­um Makes 20,000 Artis­tic Images Avail­able for Free Down­load

The Nation­al Gallery Makes 25,000 Images of Art­work Freely Avail­able Online

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Wash­ing­ton, DC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

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Comments (4)
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  • vanderleun says:

    Gar­ble award for ” see­ing the work up close in all its onto­log­i­cal mate­ri­al­i­ty”

  • Kayla says:

    Actu­al­ly, you CAN see “Moth­er of God” in per­son! It’s in the “Beyond Belief” exhi­bi­tion at the Con­tem­po­rary Jew­ish Muse­um (co-orga­nized by SFMOMA), on view until Octo­ber 27.

    Also worth not­ing, the big beau­ti­ful down­load­able images (which are in fact only 72ppi — not hi-res) are still copy­right­ed and sub­ject to the site’s Terms of Use:

  • yassu hd says:

    Hi.. I real­ly love this wallpaper.Even i found few more best wall­pa­pers here:n,nnHdhub

  • FLORIN ILIE says:

    It’s pit­ty that your main mot­to is ‘FREE …’ and in fact noth­ing is free to down­load as long as you hide all the links (if exist) for FREE DOWNLOAD !

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