Robert Rauschenberg, Retroactive I, 1963. Oil and silkscreen ink on canvas. Gift of Susan Morse Hilles, 1964.30.

Robert Rauschenberg reintroduced recognizable imagery into contemporary art, and preferred employing popular mass media, such as newspapers, magazines and television, as his sources. Rauschenberg transferred these “found” media images to canvas, using commercially prepared photographic silk screens.

Retroactive I  is widely considered one of the finest of Rauschenberg’s silkscreen paintings. Central to the work is an iconic portrait of President John F. Kennedy, a symbol of progress and promise. Ironically, Rauschenberg ordered the silkscreen of this image during the summer preceding the president’s assassination. He overcame his initial reluctance to use it following the trauma of November 1963, in part because he was committed theoretically to a non-hierarchical interest in all phenomena in the world around him. Nothing, however, can separate the power of this image from its emblematic reading as the embodiment of a national tragedy.

Robert Rauschenberg
American, 1925–2008
Retroactive I, 1963
Oil and silkscreen ink on canvas
Gift of Susan Morse Hilles, 1964.30

From Our Collection

1877, Cailletbotte 1490, di Cosimo 1867, Church Humphrey, 1958

Upcoming Events

Jul
31
Thu
7:00 pm Film: Of Horses and Men
Film: Of Horses and Men
Jul 31 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Film: Of Horses and Men
Film: Of Horses and Men: A quirky comedic drama about the human streak in the horse and the horse in the human. 2013. Iceland. 81 [...]
8:30 pm Film: Lovely Louise
Film: Lovely Louise
Jul 31 @ 8:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Film: Lovely Louise
Film: Lovely Louise: In this comedic drama, a 55 year-old man leads a boring life with his 80 year-old mother, who tells him she gave [...]
Aug
1
Fri
12:00 pm Gallery Talk: Art Traffic
Gallery Talk: Art Traffic
Aug 1 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Gallery Talk: Art Traffic
Allan D’Arcangelo, Here and now, 1963, liquitex on canvas with mirror Gallery Talk: Art Traffic: Edd Russo, Head Registrar, and Mary Busick, Registrar for Loans [...]
1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
Aug 1 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Tour: Highlights: Join a docent for an exploration of the collection. Meet by The Museum Shop. Highlights Tours are offered daily at 1 pm, Wednesday [...]
5:30 pm Movies & Music: Bombshell
Movies & Music: Bombshell
Aug 1 @ 5:30 pm – 9:45 pm
Movies & Music: Bombshell
Movies & Music: Bombshell: In this comedic drama sexpot film star Lola Burns seeks a new image and tries marrying a marquis, adopting a baby [...]

View Calendar

 

Hours & Admission

Hours:
Wednesday – Friday: 11 am – 5 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 10 am – 5 pm
First Thursdays: 11 am – 8 pm

Admission:
Members: Free
Adults: $10
Seniors (age 62+): $8
Students (age 13 & over or with college ID): $5
Children (age 12 & under): Free
First Thursdays (from 5-8 pm): $5