Port Arthur, Texas, 1925 | Captiva Island, Florida, 2008
Born Milton Ernest Rauschenberg on October 22.
Serves in the U.S. Marines.
Enrolls at the Kansas City Art Institute. Changes his name to Bob and then later to Robert.
Studies at the Académie Julian in Paris and at Black Mountain College near Asheville, North Carolina.
Moves to New York.
Attends classes at the Art Students League, where he meets Cy Twombly.
Rauschenberg’s work is included in Abstraction in Photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Has his first solo show, at Betty Parsons Gallery in New York. Begins the White Paintings and black paintings series.
Participates in Theater Piece #1, a performance organized by John Cage considered the first “happening” in the history of art. Travels to Europe and Africa with Cy Twombly.
Begins to make Combines, works that integrate aspects of sculpture and painting.
Participates in Documenta 2 in Kassel, Germany, and in the V Bienal do Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo. Rauschenberg’s work is included in L’exposition internationale du surréalisme at Galerie Daniel Cordier in Paris, organized by André Breton and Marcel Duchamp.
Rauschenberg’s work is presented in The Art of Assemblage at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Exhibits at Galerie Daniel Cordier in Paris.
Begins to use silkscreening in his work.
The Jewish Museum in New York presents the first retrospective of Rauschenberg’s work.
The Whitechapel Art Gallery in London organizes a retrospective of his work. Participates in the XXXII Biennale di Venezia, where he wins the International Grand Prize in Painting, and in Documenta 3 in Kassel, Germany.
Exhibits at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.
Rauschenberg’s Autobiography, a print almost 16 feet tall, is exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Exhibits at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Participates in Documenta 4 in Kassel, Germany.
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts presents a major exhibition of Rauschenberg’s graphic work. Removes his work from the United States Pavilion at the XXXV Biennale di Venezia in protest against the Vietnam War.
Begins the Venetian series.
Begins the Spread series. Exhibits at the Museo d’Arte Moderna Ca’ Pesaro in Venice.
The National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. presents a retrospective of his work. Exhibits at Forte di Belvedere in Florence. Awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of South Florida in Tampa.
Begins the Scale series. Participates in Documenta 6 in Kassel, Germany.
The Staatliche Kunsthalle in West Berlin holds a retrospective exhibition of his work.
Rauschenberg’s photography is exhibited at the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, in Paris.
Travels to Japan, China, Thailand, and Sri Lanka.
Launches ROCI (Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange) at the United Nations in New York, a program in which the artist travels to eleven different countries to make art with local artists and artisans, each visit culminating in an exhibition.
The Museo Rufino Tamayo in Mexico City hosts the first ROCI exhibition. ROCI exhibitions are also presented in Santiago, Chile; Caracas, Venezuela; Beijing; and Lhasa, Tibet. In subsequent years, ROCI exhibitions will take place in Tokyo, Havana, Moscow, Berlin, Kuala Lumpur, and Washington, D.C. Rauschenberg’s work is shown at the Fundación Juan March in Madrid. The show later travels to the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona.
Begins the Shiners series.
Exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Begins the Borealis series.
Establishes the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. An exhibition of Rauschenberg’s work is shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
The final ROCI exhibition is presented at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Begins the Waterworks series.
Receives the Second Hiroshima Art Prize, awarded by the Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art. An exhibition of Rauschenberg’s work is presented at the museum in conjunction with the award presentation.
Exhibits at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf.
The Modern Art Museum of Forth Worth in Forth Worth, Texas, presents the first retrospective of Rauschenberg’s sculptures.
Exhibits at the Monastero Mechitarista dell’Isola di San Lazzaro degli Armeni near Venice. Receives the International Sculpture Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Contemporary Sculpture.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York presents a major retrospective of Rauschenberg’s work. The exhibition travels the following year to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Receives the Praemium Imperiale for painting, awarded by the Japan Art Association.
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art presents an exhibition of his work. Rauschenberg’s work is featured in American Pop Art at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
Exhibits at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut. The Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara, Italy, presents a major exhibition of his work.
Receives the Premi Internacional Julio González from the Institut Valencià d’Art Modern in Valencia, Spain. The Institut Valencià d’Art Modern in Valencia exhibits twenty-eight pieces from the Gluts series. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York presents an exhibition of Rauschenberg’s Combines. The show later travels to the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, in Paris.
Rauschenberg’s work is included in Homage to Chillida at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
The Moderna Museet in Stockholm and the Menil Collection in Houston present exhibitions of Rauschenberg’s work. Video documentation of the 1967 performance Linoleum is shown at Performa 07 in New York. The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., presents Let the World In: Prints by Robert Rauschenberg from the National Gallery of Art and Related Collections.
Exhibitions devoted to Rauschenberg’s work are presented at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Robert Rauschenberg: Prints/Editions, 1962-78), Long Beach Museum of Art in Long Beach, California (Robert Rauschenberg in the Collection of the Long Beach Museum of Art), and La Caja Negra in Madrid (Robert Rauschenberg: Gráfica, 1976-2000). Dies on May 12.