Skip to Content
Today Open today 10–11 members | 11–5 public

The Song of the Border-Guard

A work made of woodcut on red-orange wove paper.
© Cy Twombly Foundation

Image actions

  • A work made of woodcut on red-orange wove paper.




Cy Twombly (American, 1928-2011)
Robert Duncan (American, 1919-1988)

About this artwork

On Robert Rauschenberg’s advice, Cy Twombly spent two summers and a winter in the early 1950s studying at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. It was there that he met three artists who deeply influenced his art, Robert Motherwell, Ben Shahn, and Franz Kline. In their work, he encountered two approaches that became fundamental to his own style: bold, insistent mark making and voids that are fully active. It was at Black Mountain College that Twombly made his first print, this woodcut on vibrantly colored paper, which was intended to accompany Robert Duncan’s poem “Song of the Border Guard.”


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


Cy Twombly


The Song of the Border-Guard


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Woodcut on red-orange wove paper


Block: 30.5 × 45.7 cm (12 1/16 × 18 in.); Sheet: 33 × 51 cm (13 × 20 1/8 in.)

Credit Line

Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Goldenberg Fund

Reference Number



© Cy Twombly Foundation

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions