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About This Artwork
Printed paper and stamped metal, with oil paint, fiber-tipped pen, and silkscreen ink on fabricArt © Rauschenberg Estate / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
43.2 x 53 cm (17 x 20 7/8 in.)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin E. Hokin, 1965.1174
Not on Display
In 1954 Robert Rauschenberg began to produce what he called “combines”—works that joined found objects, postcards, and other printed materials in order to bridge the gap between art and life. In Lincoln, the first of a series in which the artist used images of political leaders and public figures, Rauschenberg juxtaposed a photograph of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., with passages of paint and items such as a scrap of damask, a rectangle of brown wrapping paper, and an illustration of an eroded cliff. By contrasting the image of Abraham Lincoln—a 19th-century icon associated with freedom and wisdom—with more recent artifacts, Rauschenberg situated the lively and raw present within a somber, monumental past. He may have invoked the “Great Emanicipator” because of the battle for racial integration raging at the time.
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