Five works from the MFAH collection of prints and drawings examine Robert Rauschenberg’s use of media imagery to foster an American identity. The installation is presented in conjunction with the lecture Ready for Liftoff: Robert Rauschenberg’s “Stoned Moon Series.”

Texas-born Rauschenberg (1925–2008) rose to prominence during the late 1950s and became one of the most prolific and celebrated figures in American art. The piece Urban, which includes images of President John F. Kennedy, a baseball game, and the TIROS satellite, is an excellent example of the artist capturing the idealistic nature of America in the 1960s. As demonstrated here, the options provided by printmaking informed the experimental nature of Rauschenberg’s art through multiple trials that were not possible in painting or sculpture.