Thomas Buehler and Rauschenberg, ROCI TIBET, Revolutionary Exhibition Hall, Lhasa, 1985

Joni Weyl, Rauschenberg, and Thomas Buehler in Rauschenberg’s Lafayette Street studio, New York, 1992. Photo: Sidney B. Felsen © 1992

John Peet, Rauschenberg, Thomas Buehler, and Tup Schmidt, late 1980s or earlyca. 1990 1990s

Thomas Buehler, Rauschenberg, and John Peet, Art Kite viewing event near Himeji Castle, Japan, 1989

Rauschenberg and Thomas Buehler, Art Kite viewing event near Himeji Castle, Japan, 1989

Rauschenberg and Thomas Buehler during ROCI Cuba, Havana, 1988

Thomas Buehler in ROCI T-shirt having just completed the installation of ROCI CHINA, Beijing, 1985


Thomas Buehler

Born in Berlin in 1943, Thomas Buehler studied graphic design and after working in the advertising industry for several years, he established his own studio before embarking on travels throughout Europe and Africa, including an extended residency in the Seychelles. Buehler met Rauschenberg during the installation of Rauschenberg: Werke 1950–1980 at the Staatliche Kunsthalle, Berlin, in 1980. Rauschenberg later engaged Buehler for the logistical organization of the Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI) world tour (1985–91). At the conclusion of ROCI, Rauschenberg appointed Buehler to manage his art storage facility and to oversee his international projects. In 2005 Buehler completed the renovation of a new art storage facility to house Rauschenberg’s work. Buehler served as Senior Registrar for the Rauschenberg Foundation until his retirement in November 2016.


Excerpt from interview with Thomas Buehler by Sara Sinclair, 2015

Buehler: What stayed with me and will stay with me the rest of my life is—let’s celebrate the differences. Let’s celebrate that we’re all different and we all can learn from each other, and just looking at each other we can learn from each other, and not celebrate that we’re all the same—all McDonald’s all over the world, the same food everywhere. Let’s celebrate how they stamp their corn and make chapatis out of it. How different and how wonderful the world is because we’re so different. That’s his appreciation of the world. I think that’s—

Sinclair: That’s what lasts?

Buehler: That’s what stays with me forever.