Detail from Earth Summit (Last Turn/Your Turn), 1991. Art  Robert Rauschenberg/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY


Archived exhibitions are no longer available for booking but are maintained as a virtual record of past Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) programs.

Robert Rauschenberg (b. 1925) has long been recognized as one of the most influential and innovative artists of the 20th century. Since the 1960s, Rauschenberg has been applying his collage style to contemporary social and political concerns through a variety of media, including lithography and other printmaking techniques.

Incorporating images from popular culture and current events, these early works addressed social and political issues—the war in Vietnam, the era’s tragic assassinations, and the fate of the environment, among them—and set the stage for a life of activism. In later decades, Rauschenberg depicted international concerns such as apartheid, nuclear disarmament, economic development, population control, and artists’ rights.

Robert Rauschenberg, Artist-Citizen presents 17 framed prints produced between 1970 and 1996 that reverberate with Rauschenberg’s commitment to making the world a better place .

The exhibition includes posters created for and often donated to such organizations as the United Nations, UNESCO, and the AFL-CIO as well as work from the Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI), an evolving multi-media traveling exhibition of the artist’s paintings, sculpture, prints, and objects. All of the posters in the exhibition, which was developed by the University Art Gallery, California State University, Hayward, have been lent by the artist.


Exhibition Specifications

Contents 17 framed prints, text panels, labels

Educational and promotional resources, bibliography

Participation Fee

$7,000 for a 10-week booking period (includes prorated shipping)

Running Feet

30-40 running meters (100-125 running feet)

Crates 2

700 lbs. (315 kg)

Category Art



Prorated, SITES-designated carrier

Toured Though

April 2007



Tour Itinerary

Dates   Host Institution Status
2/12/05 4/24/05 Canzani Center Gallery, Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH Booked
8/13/05 10/23/05 Museum of the Gulf Coast, Port Arthur, TX Booked
11/12/05 1/22/06 Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX Booked
2/11/06 4/23/06 Hofstra Museum, Hempstead, NY Booked
5/13/06 7/23/06 Monmouth Museum, Lincroft, NJ Booked
8/12/06 10/22/06 Baum Gallery, University of Central Arkansas, Conway, AR Booked
11/11/06 1/21/07 Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI Booked
2/10/07 4/22/07 Rose City Renaissance Design Center, Norwich, CT Booked


Related Publications

None listed at this time. Please check back later.  


Press Release


Smithsonian’s Robert Rauschenberg Exhibit Begins National Tour

Robert Rauschenberg believes that artists must be engaged in "determining the fate of the Earth." Since the 1960s, the Texas-born artist-activist has used printmaking as a vehicle to address contemporary social and political concerns, such as racial equality, the war in Vietnam, and environmental protection.

"Robert Rauschenberg, Artist-Citizen: Posters for a Better World," a new Smithsonian traveling exhibition, presents 17 posters produced between 1969 and 1996 that address such issues as apartheid, artists' rights, Earth Day and nuclear disarmament.

"Posters for a Better World" opened Feb. 25 at the Canzani Center Gallery of the Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio, and continues through April 24.

University Art Gallery of California State University, Hayward, developed the exhibition and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service organized it for travel. All of the works in the exhibition are on loan from the artist.

In the 1960s, artist Robert Rauschenberg (b. 1925) began applying his innovative collage style to silkscreen prints that combined familiar images from popular culture and current events in radical ways. Praised for his artistic and social energy, Rauschenberg earned the title "artist-citizen" in 1976 during his critically acclaimed retrospective at the National Collection of Fine Arts (now the Smithsonian American Art Museum).

Introducing the exhibition are two extraordinary images: a poster from his 1969 Stoned Moon series, which indicates his optimism about the space program, and his famous 1970 screen print Signs, which powerfully alludes to contemporary events, such as the assassinations of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King, social upheaval and the death of rock icon Janis Joplin. These early works set the stage for Rauschenberg's commitment as an artist-activist.

Also represented in the exhibition are posters he designed for the Rauschenberg Oversees Culture Interchange (ROCI - pronounced Rocky), in which he interacted with people of other countries in an attempt to enhance international understanding and worldwide peace through collaborative art-making.

"I thought it would be terrible to live in this world and not know what another part of the world was like," said Rauschenberg. Mainly "sensitive" areas were involved in these works, such as Mexico, Chile, Venezuela, China, Tibet, Japan, Cuba, and USSR.

The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 50 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play.



Exhibition Specifications

Tour Itinerary

Exhibition Images

Related Publications

Press Release

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