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 Unpublished interviews are typically referred to as “personal interviews.”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.


Access Note

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.



1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s



Parinaud, André / Interview for “Un document: un ‘misfit’ de la peinture new-yorkaise se confesse” (includes 2004 translation) / Arts, 1961-1962, 2004

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.


Klüver, Billy / "Record Interviews with Artists Participating in the Popular Image Exhibition," Washington Gallery of Modern Art, 1963

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).


Seckler, Dorothy / Oral History / Archives of American Art, 1965

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.


Seckler, Dorothy Gees / "The Artist Speaks: Robert Rauschenberg" / Art in America, 1966

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). 


Rauschenberg Statement / Wednesday Review, WNDT, 1966

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.


Kostelanetz, Richard / Interview with Robert Rauschenberg, 1966-1967

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


Kostelanetz, Richard / "A Conversation with Robert Rauschenberg" / Partisan Review, 1968

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). 



O. B. [Bob?] / Personal Interview, 1971

Note: Transcript of a statement by Robert Rauschenberg and conversations between two speakers named Bob. 


Unidentified / Interview with Robert Rauschenberg / "Robert Rauschenberg in Israel" Exhibition, 1975 [1974]

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.


Hopps, Walter and Sue Ginsberg / Personal Interview, 1975

Keywords: animals, childhood, drawing, family, young adulthood


Smith, Philip / Interview for “To and About Robert Rauschenberg” / Arts Magazine, 1976

Keywords: Bed, Currents, E.A.T., Hoarfrost, Jammers


Diamonstein, Barbaralee / Personal Interviews (excerpts only), 1977-1978

Note: Includes statements used in Inside New York’s Art World and an excerpt from a conversation with Diamonstein and Peter Wirth (1978).


Diamonstein, Barbaralee / "Robert Rauschenberg and Leo Castelli" / Inside New York's Art World, 1977, 1979

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.



Harmel, Mark / "Rauschenberg" / Sanibel-Captiva Islander, 1980

Keywords: photography

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.


Sayag, Alain / “Interview with Robert Rauschenberg” / Robert Rauschenberg Photographs, 1981

Keywords: photography

Note: First published in Alain Sayag, Robert Rauschenberg Photographs (New York: Pantheon Books, 1981). 


Eliopoulou-Rogan, Dora / “Robert Rauschenberg: The Artist with Infinite Possibilities” / Kathimerini, 1981

Keywords: Greece, Kabal American Zephyr, travel

Note: Includes the English translation and the newspaper clipping of the original article (in Greek).


Garrels, Gary / “Interview with Robert Rauschenberg” / Art New England, 1981

Keywords: Black Mountain College, Boston, In + Out City Limits, Photems, photography

Note: Robert Kaufman also participates in the interview.


Weiss, Marjorie / “Lowcountry Through the Eyes of an Artist” / News + Courier, 1981

Keywords: Charleston, In + Out City Limits, photography


de Smecchia, Muni / Interview with Robert Rauschenberg (Italian Transcript) / Italian Vogue, 1982

Note: Italian transcript of interview with Robert Rauschenberg for Italian Vogue (Vogue Italia); no English translation.


Unidentified / Interview with Robert Rauschenberg / Van Gogh Television, 1983

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.


Rowes, Barbara / Interview with Robert Rauschenberg / People Magazine, 1983

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.


Shistrote, Barbara / Interview with Robert Rauschenberg / National Public Radio, 1983; and Winship, Fred / Interview with Robert Rauschenberg / UPI, 1983

Keywords: ceramics, China, Japan, Japanese Clayworks, Japanese Recreational Clayworks, performance, ROCI, Set and Reset


Adler, Ed / Personal Interview, 1983

Keywords: 1960s, China, Currents, Hoarfrost, politics, performance, Stoned Moon


Higashino (Tōno), Yoshiaki / “Tying Work to Elephants: About the ROCI Project” / ROCI: Japan, 1983-1990

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.


Raedeke, Paul / “Interview with Rauschenberg” / Photo Metro, 1983

Keywords: collage, In + Out City Limits, photography


Black, L. D. / “Robert Rauschenberg” / Splash Magazine, 1985

Keywords: Josef Albers, David Byrne / Talking Heads, Janis Joplin, ROCI, Salvage


Hardy, Thomas W. / Questions on Dante Drawings, 1985


Mancusi-Ungaro, Carol; Hopps, Walter; Robert Rauschenberg / Group Discussion / Rice Museum, 1985

Keywords: Crucifixion and Reflection, Night Blooming, Rachel Rosenthal

Note: Linda Cathcart, Marti Mayo, Neil Printz, David White, and Terry Van Brunt are also present.


Koppel, Ted / “Disintegrating Works of Art” (with Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers, Bruce Guenther) / ABC News, 1985

Keywords: impermanence / permanence, performance

Note: Official transcript of Nightline broadcast (Show #1100, August 9, 1985).


Sparks, Esther / Personal Interview, 1985

Keywords: Dante drawings, Glacial Decoy, performance, photography, printmaking, ROCI, ULAE


Bound compilation of Robert Rauschenberg Interviews, 1985-1987 / Sparks, Esther / Interview with Robert Rauschenberg, 1985

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).


Bound compilation of Robert Rauschenberg Interviews, 1985-1987 / Unidentified / Interview with Robert Rauschenberg / New York Times, 1986

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. 


Bound compilation of Robert Rauschenberg Interviews, 1985-1987 / Unidentified / Interview with Robert Rauschenberg / Setagaya Museum, 1986

Keywords: ceramics, Japan, ROCI

Note: The ROCI Japan exhibition was held November 22–December 28, 1986, at the Setagaya Museum of Art, Tokyo.


Bound compilation of Robert Rauschenberg Interviews, 1985-1987 / Unidentified / Interview with Robert Rauschenberg in Naples, 1987

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.


Bound compilation of Robert Rauschenberg Interviews, 1985-1987 / Unidentified / Interview with Robert Rauschenberg on “The 1/4 Mile,” 1985 [probably 1987]

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.


Bound compilation of Robert Rauschenberg Interviews, 1985-1987 / Unidentified / Interview with Robert Rauschenberg, TVB [Terry Van Brunt], and others, 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. 


Bound compilation of Robert Rauschenberg Interviews, 1985-1987 / Mazzola, John / Interview with TVB [Terry Van Brunt] and Rubin G., 1987

Keywords: ROCI

Note: Rauschenberg does not speak.


Bound compilation of Robert Rauschenberg Interviews, 1985-1987 / Graff, Vera / Interview with Robert Rauschenberg, 1987

Keywords: Gluts, New York City, ROCI

Note: Interview conducted for an unidentified architecture magazine. Rauschenberg describes his New York studio at 381 Lafayette Street.


Bound compilation of Robert Rauschenberg Interviews, 1985-1987 / Petrasongren, Mils / Interview with Robert Rauschenberg, 1987

Keywords: Copperheads, performance, photography, ROCI, Stockholm


Bound compilation of Robert Rauschenberg Interviews, 1985-1987 / Corpus Christi Students / Interview with Robert Rauschenberg, 1987

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.


Bound compilation of Robert Rauschenberg Interviews, 1985-1987 / McClintock, Cathy / Interview with Robert Rauschenberg, 1987

Keywords: Gluts, ROCI

Note: Interview briefly involves Terry van Brunt. 


Bound compilation of Robert Rauschenberg Interviews, 1985-1987 / Unidentified / Interview with Robert Rauschenberg / Helsinki Opening, 1987

Keywords: Marcel Duchamp, Elastic Carrier (Shiner), In + Out City Limits, ROCI, Set and Reset


Bound compilation of Robert Rauschenberg Interviews, 1985-1987 / Martin, Susan / Interview with Robert Rauschenberg / Art Against AIDS, undated

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.


Bound compilation of Robert Rauschenberg Interviews, 1985-1987 / Unidentified / Interview with Robert Rauschenberg and TVB [Terry Van Brunt], undated

Keywords: Abba Eban

Note: Transcript of video recorded by Terry Van Brunt.


Rose, Barbara / Personal Interview, circa 1972

Keywords: abstract expressionism, Bed, Black Mountain College, John Cage, collage, Combines, Erased de Kooning Drawing, Pop Art, sculpture, silkscreens

Note: Transcript filed with cover letter dated April 13, 1987. Barbara Rose wrote and narrated the film American Art in the 1960s (Michael Blackwood, dir., 1972) (referenced in cover letter). Portions of the interview were republished in Barbara Rose and Robert Rauschenberg, Rauschenberg (Vintage, 1987).


Rosenquist, James / Personal Interview, 1987

Keywords: Andy Warhol

Note: Andy Warhol died on February 22, 1987, shortly before the conversation takes place.


Kotz, Mary Lynn / “Interview with Walter Hopps,” 1987

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.


Gercke, Hans / Questions on the Color Blue / Heidelberger Kunstverein, 1988

Keywords: Yves Klein, Picasso

Note: The exhibition Blau: Farbe der Ferne was held at Heidelberger Kunstverein, March 2, 1990-May 13, 1990.


Simmons, Todd / Questions on Graphicstudio / Tampa Tribune, 1989


Maxwell, Douglas / Extra Questions for Robert Rauschenberg, 1989

Keywords: ROCI, Shiners, Gluts, Urban Bourbon, Transom, Borealis


Saff, Don, and Unidentified T [Thomas Buehler?] / Personal Interview, 1989

Keywords: ROCI



Unidentified / Robert Rauschenberg Interview / Art Meets Science and Spirituality in a Changing Economy, 1990

Keywords: abstract expressionism, Black Mountain College, Change Inc., E.A.T., painting, performance, ROCI, young adulthood


Hopps, Walter / Personal Interview, 1991

Keywords: Automobile Tire Print, Black Mountain College, Black paintings, Jasper Johns, miniature blueprints, Night Blooming, painting, photography, sculpture, Cy Twombly, White paintings


Peterson, William / Questions on Rachel Rosenthal, 1991

Keywords: performance, Rachel Rosenthal


McClintic, Miranda / Questions on Marcel Duchamp and the Found Object / Recycling Reality, 1991

Keywords: Black Market, The Construction of Boston, Marcel Duchamp, Jasper Johns, Yves Klein, performance


Rosenthal, Mark / “Robert Rauschenberg” / Artists at GEMINI G.E.L., 1991-1992

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). 


Gauger, Budd / Questions on “Ozone” and “Earth Summit” posters / Toledo Blade, 1992

Keywords: Earth Summit, Last Turn--Your Turn, Ozone


Yusuf, Nilgin / Questions on Issey Miyake / Marie Claire, 1992

Note: Yusuf's profile of Issey Miyake appeared in the June 1992 issue of Marie Claire (UK).


Tracy, Robert / Questions for "Designing for Dance" / French Vogue, 1991-1992

Keywords: Astral Convertible II, Glacial Decoy, performance, Set and Reset


Sartogo, Domitilla / Questions on Exhibition at the Guggenheim SoHo / L’Espresso, 1992

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. 


Graieb, Carlos / Questions Related to the São Paulo Bienal / Caderno 2, 1994

Keywords: performance, printmaking, travel


Lobacheff, Geórgia / Questions / Jornal da Tarde, 1994

Keywords: Change Inc., Black Mountain College, performance, ROCI


Friedman, Carol / Questions, 1995

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.


Kaufman, Jason / Interview with Robert Rauschenberg / Art Newpaper, 1997

Keywords: collage, Marcel Duchamp, Echo, Padre Pio Pilgrimage Church--San Giovanni Rotondo, photography, Renzo Piano, Riding Bikes


Planca, Elisabetta / Questions for a Written Interview / Arte, 1997

Keywords: Anagram (A Pun), Italy, photography


Marlow, Tim / “Robert Rauschenberg” / Tate Magazine, 1998

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.



Voytek, Alexa / Questions for School Report, 2001

Keywords: dyslexia, Moon Museum


Hana, Deirdra / Questions / NOW Magazine, 2001

Keywords: photography

Note: Name is misspelled in response; correct spelling is Deirdre Hanna.


Perron, Wendy / Questions on Performance / Dance Magazine, 2003


Brooks, Rosetta / “Round the Block Once or Twice” / Modern Painters, 2005

Keywords:  Combines


Jäger, Joachim / Questions, undated

Keywords: Aen Floga, Door, performance

interview transcript page with edits

Page from transcript of personal interview with Robert Rauschenberg by Barbara Rose, 1987.