Interview Transcripts research guide
This guide contains digitized transcripts from the Interviews series of the Robert Rauschenberg papers. Materials provided in this guide are for reference and research purposes only. For reproduction requests, email the archives.
Rauschenberg's studio maintained printed, typewritten, or photocopied interview transcripts and associated materials, including drafts, notes, correspondence, and subsequent publications, spanning 1961-2005. Interviews are identified by interviewer, title, and publication, if known. Unpublished interviews are typically referred to as “personal interviews.” Interviews described as “questions …” consist of questions submitted to Rauschenberg in writing along with Rauschenberg’s written responses.
Non-exhaustive lists of keywords indicate personal names, artwork or series titles, techniques, and/or subjects that receive particular or significant attention, when not already identified in the interview title. More general terms are prioritized over individual names or specialized terms: (e.g. “performance” may refer to activities, organizations, or individuals related to performance art, theater, and/or dance). Notes provide additional context or information where relevant. See also the Robert Rauschenberg Bibliography for full citations of resulting publications.
Interview materials are viewed via PDFs. The contents of each folder in the Rauschenberg papers Interviews series have been digitized as a single PDF, with the exception of the interview transcripts physically bound in a single volume (digitized as separate files). Larger file sizes may take longer to view and/or download.
Keywords: Combines, painting
Note: André Parinaud incorrectly states that “Un document: un 'misfit' de la peinture new-yorkaise se confesse” was published in 1962; it appeared in the May 10, 1961 issue of Arts (Paris). English-language translation provided by Antonio Homem.
Keywords: Black paintings, Red paintings, White paintings
Note: Transcript of statement given by Robert Rauschenberg for a series of interviews with artists in The Popular Image exhibition at the Washington Gallery of Modern Art, April 18-June 2, 1963, and later published in Billy Klüver, On Record: 11 Artists 1963 (New York: Experiments in Art and Technology, 1981).
Keywords: abstract expressionism, Black paintings, John Cage, Dante drawings, Map Room II, New York City, Oracle, painting, performance, sculpture, silkscreens
Note: Interview conducted as part of the Archives of Art Oral History Program, initiated in 1958.
Keywords: abstract expressionism, Black paintings, John Cage, Dante drawings, Map Room II, Oracle, performance
Note: Published article based on the oral history completed by Seckler for the Archives of American Art, 1965. Rauschenberg created the cover for this issue of Art in America (May-June 1966) (not included in PDF).
Keywords: object art, sculpture
Note: Includes letter to Robert Rauschenberg requesting permission to feature his work in a film of the 68th American Exhibition held at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Keywords: Black Mountain College, childhood and young adulthood, Combines, Factum I & II, Linoleum, Map Room I, Map Room II, Monogram, Oracle, painting, performance, White paintings
Keywords: Black Mountain College, Combines, Factum I & II, Monogram, Map Room II, Oracle, painting, performance, White paintings
Note: Article based on the interviews conducted in 1966-1967. Published in Partisan Review 35, no. 1 (Winter 1968).
Note: Transcript of a statement by Robert Rauschenberg and conversations between two speakers named Bob.
Note: Although the photocopied transcript is dated 1975, the interview appears to have been conducted as a public Q&A the day after the opening of the Robert Rauschenberg in Israel exhibition at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, May 29-August 3, 1974, where Rauschenberg exhibited Made in Israel sculptures and Scripture drawings.
Keywords: animals, childhood, drawing, family, young adulthood
Keywords: Bed, Currents, E.A.T., Hoarfrost, Jammers
Note: Includes statements used in Inside New York’s Art World and an excerpt from a conversation with Diamonstein and Peter Wirth (1978).
Keywords: Change Inc., Combines, Jammers, New York City, Paris, Venice Biennale
Note: PDF includes multiple drafts as well as photocopy of pages from Inside New York's Art World (New York: Rizzoli, 1979) containing Diamonstein's introduction and final interview text.
Note: Rauschenberg’s first exhibition of photography (Photos In + Out City Limits: Ft. Myers, Florida) was held at the Photographer’s Gallery, Sanibel Island, Florida, April 20-May 30, 1980.
Note: First published in Alain Sayag, Robert Rauschenberg Photographs (New York: Pantheon Books, 1981).
Keywords: Greece, Kabal American Zephyr, travel
Note: Includes the English translation and the newspaper clipping of the original article (in Greek).
Keywords: Black Mountain College, Boston, In + Out City Limits, Photems, photography
Note: Robert Kaufman also participates in the interview.
Keywords: Charleston, In + Out City Limits, photography
Note: Italian transcript of interview with Robert Rauschenberg for Italian Vogue (Vogue Italia); no English translation.
Keywords: Dirt Shrine, Japanese Clayworks, painting, photography
Note: Terry Van Brunt and Carrie Wilson, co-director of the Terrain Gallery, also participate in the interview.
Keywords (Rauschenberg interview): Black Mountain College, David Byrne / Talking Heads, China, Japan, travel, young adulthood
Keywords (Simons interview): Charlene, Mud Muse, papermaking, paper mill, ROCI
Note: Transcript of "Side A" includes excerpt from an interview with Riki Simons by an unidentified woman. It is unclear whether a transcription error may have taken place, attributing Rauschenberg's voice to Simons.
Keywords: ceramics, China, Japan, Japanese Clayworks, Japanese Recreational Clayworks, performance, ROCI, Set and Reset
Keywords: 1960s, China, Currents, Hoarfrost, politics, performance, Stoned Moon
Keywords: The 1/4 Mile, ceramics, China, Hoarfrost, India, Japan, Mud Muse, papermaking, ROCI
Note: Interview was conducted in May 1983 and first published (in Japanese) in Time with Creators (no official English translation; Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten Publishing, 1984), then reprinted with an introduction by Higashino in the ROCI: Japan exhibition catalogue (1986). File includes English translation of the text in ROCI: Japan.
Keywords: collage, In + Out City Limits, photography
Keywords: Josef Albers, David Byrne / Talking Heads, Janis Joplin, ROCI, Salvage
Keywords: Crucifixion and Reflection, Night Blooming, Rachel Rosenthal
Note: Linda Cathcart, Marti Mayo, Neil Printz, David White, and Terry Van Brunt are also present.
Keywords: impermanence / permanence, performance
Note: Official transcript of Nightline broadcast (Show #1100, August 9, 1985).
Keywords: Dante drawings, Glacial Decoy, performance, photography, printmaking, ROCI, ULAE
Keywords: Dante drawings, dyslexia, Glacial Decoy, performance, photography, printmaking, ROCI, ULAE, Venezuela, young adulthood
Note: Extended version of “Sparks, Esther / Personal Interview, 1985,” transcribed with slight differences and additional comments about Rauschenberg’s dyslexia, apparently given at the reception following the Outstanding Achievers with Learning Disabilities Award ceremony (October 30, 1985).
Keywords: John Cage, China, Japan, papermaking, Xuan Paper Mill, Zen
Note: Most likely conducted by Michael Brenson as research for article “Why Asian Culture Answers the Needs of Western Artists.” New York Times, April 20, 1986.
Keywords: ceramics, Japan, ROCI
Note: The ROCI Japan exhibition was held November 22–December 28, 1986, at the Setagaya Museum of Art, Tokyo.
Keywords: Gluts, performance
Note: Rauschenberg built a substitute set for Trisha Brown Dance Company’s performance of Lateral Pass at the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Italy, when the arrival of Nancy Graves’ original set was delayed.
Keywords: The 1/4 Mile, Chile, ROCI
Note: The “Metro tape” transcript is briefly interrupted by the text of an interview with “someone from USA Today, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 20th Century Gallery Opening.” Terry Van Brunt is also involved in the interview transcribed from the Metro tape. Page 17 is missing from the original materials. The interview is dated “1985," but Rauschenberg refers to events (e.g. his set for the performance of Lateral Pass in Naples) that suggest that the interview actually took place in 1987.
Keywords: The 1/4 Mile, Monograph
Note: The second half of the file includes a brief transcript of the Rhode Island School of Design RISD Awards (December 9, 1986), comprising the greeting speech by Bob Hughes and remarks by Robert Rauschenberg and James Rosenquist. Following this segment, the traditional interview format is resumed with additional speakers WL (“Bill”), KB (“Kay”), and Philippe.
Note: Rauschenberg does not speak.
Keywords: Gluts, New York City, ROCI
Note: Interview conducted for an unidentified architecture magazine. Rauschenberg describes his New York studio at 381 Lafayette Street.
Keywords: Copperheads, performance, photography, ROCI, Stockholm
Keywords: Black Mountain College, childhood and young adulthood, Elastic Carrier (Shiner), Hoarfrost, Kabal American Zephyr, performance, ROCI, Set and Reset
Note: The first half of the file is a transcript of a talk with Corpus Christi students at the Art Museum of South Texas; the second half consists of interviews with David Pickering, “JC Caller (Times Magazine)”; followed by Catherine Childers, KIII-TV; and Diane Finlayson, “State of the Art” program, KKED-PBS Radio.
Keywords: Gluts, ROCI
Note: Interview briefly involves Terry van Brunt.
Keywords: Marcel Duchamp, Elastic Carrier (Shiner), In + Out City Limits, ROCI, Set and Reset
Note: Brief interview for a quote to use in the press release for the Art Against AIDS fundraising effort benefitting the American Foundation for AIDS Research.
Keywords: Abba Eban
Note: Transcript of video recorded by Terry Van Brunt.
Keywords: abstract expressionism, Bed, Black Mountain College, John Cage, collage, Combines, Erased de Kooning Drawing, Pop Art, sculpture, silkscreens
Note: Barbara Rose wrote and narrated the film American Art in the 1960s (Michael Blackwood, dir., 1972).
Keywords: Andy Warhol
Note: Andy Warhol died on February 22, 1987, shortly before the conversation takes place.
Keywords: Combines, Jasper Johns, performance, Rodeo Palace, Rachel Rosenthal, Spreads, silkscreens, Venice Biennale
Note: Rauschenberg is the subject of the interview but not otherwise involved. Hopps recounts the organization the 1976 retrospective exhibition Robert Rauschenberg held at the National Collection of Fine Arts (current Smithsonian American Art Museum), Washington, D.C.
Keywords: Yves Klein, Picasso
Note: The exhibition Blau: Farbe der Ferne was held at Heidelberger Kunstverein, March 2, 1990-May 13, 1990.
Keywords: ROCI, Shiners, Gluts, Urban Bourbon, Transom, Borealis
Keywords: abstract expressionism, Black Mountain College, Change Inc., E.A.T., painting, performance, ROCI, young adulthood
Keywords: Automobile Tire Print, Black Mountain College, Black paintings, Jasper Johns, miniature blueprints, Night Blooming, painting, photography, sculpture, Cy Twombly, White paintings
Keywords: performance, Rachel Rosenthal
Keywords: Black Market, The Construction of Boston, Marcel Duchamp, Jasper Johns, Yves Klein, performance
Keywords: Borealis Shares, Gemini G.E.L., Illegal Tender L.A., silkscreens
Note: Interview was conducted September 22, 1991; the transcript was faxed to Rauschenberg in January 1922, and later included in Artists at Gemini G.E.L.: Celebrating the Twenty-Fifth Year (New York: Abrams, 1993).
Keywords: Earth Summit, Last Turn--Your Turn, Ozone
Note: Yusuf's profile of Issey Miyake appeared in the June 1992 issue of Marie Claire (UK).
Keywords: Astral Convertible II, Glacial Decoy, performance, Set and Reset
Keywords: Black Mountain College, John Cage, White paintings
Note: The exhibition Robert Rauschenberg: The Early 1950s was held at the Guggenheim Museum SoHo, New York, Oct. 24, 1992–Jan. 24, 1993.
Keywords: performance, printmaking, travel
Keywords: Change Inc., Black Mountain College, performance, ROCI
Keywords: childhood, performance
Note: Friedman organizes excerpts from her interview with Rauschenberg under the following headings: Work, Souvenirs, Erudition, Flight, Rocky, and Postscripts I and II.
Keywords: collage, Marcel Duchamp, Echo, Padre Pio Pilgrimage Church--San Giovanni Rotondo, photography, Renzo Piano, Riding Bikes
Keywords: Anagram (A Pun), Italy, photography
Keywords: Bed, Black Mountain College, John Cage, Combines, Erased de Kooning Drawing, Jasper Johns, Monogram, performance, ROCI, White paintings
Note: The interview was originally conducted on BBC Radio.
Keywords: dyslexia, Moon Museum
Note: Name is misspelled in response; correct spelling is Deirdre Hanna.
Keywords: Aen Floga, Door, performance
Page from transcript of personal interview with Robert Rauschenberg by Barbara Rose, 1987.