Vision and Mission
The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation fosters the legacy of Rauschenberg’s life, work, and philosophy that art can change the world. The foundation supports artists, initiatives, and institutions that embody the same fearlessness, innovation, and multidisciplinary approach that Rauschenberg exemplified in both his art and philanthropic endeavors.
The foundation focuses on three major areas: 1) increasing public access to and scholarship of Rauschenberg’s artwork; 2) cultivating emerging and established artists through a residency program at the artist’s Captiva, Florida, home and studio; and 3) creating philanthropic initiatives that connect art, culture, and creativity with important issues such as education and climate change.
Rauschenberg was a strong believer in collaboration between artists and across cultures. His life and work demonstrated how art could be a vehicle for social change, locally and globally. We are proud to carry Rauschenberg’s legacy forward, and the impact of his spirit and style are reflected in the projects that we invest in.
We have converted Rauschenberg’s former home in Captiva, Florida, into a multidisciplinary artists’ community inspired by his time at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. The Rauschenberg Residency supports the work of over seventy artists annually through a series of monthlong residencies. The program advances new bodies of work, extends practices into new mediums, and serves as a research and development laboratory for performance-based projects. The twenty-acre site that stretches from beach to bay stimulates cross-disciplinary collaborations and engenders a focus on the conservation of a sensitive and pristine environment.
To increase access to Rauschenberg’s art, the foundation has embarked on several efforts to serve the public: a gift/purchase program to place work in foremost American art museums; a program that subsidizes the loan of Rauschenberg’s artworks to foster interdisciplinary study at college and university museums; and an in-depth website that allows online access to Rauschenberg’s art and archives. Additionally, we have donated over one hundred artworks that Rauschenberg collected during his lifetime to leading museums and cultural centers across the United States, and we have lent Rauschenberg’s works to thirty-seven museums and exhibitions around the world.
Our philanthropic efforts focus on the ways in which art, culture, and creativity might intersect with important social issues such as education and climate change. We strive to support projects and people who exemplify the values that define Rauschenberg’s legacy: risk-taking, aspiring to innovate, experimentation, creative problem-solving, and collaboration. We have expanded our philanthropic efforts from supporting seven grantees located in New York and Florida to awarding nearly one hundred grants to organizations across the United States. This support has ranged from helping more than 350 artists who were impacted by Hurricane Sandy; to providing unrestricted capital to innovative, grassroots art initiatives; to removing floating plastic from our oceans’ gyres and recycling it as a new medium for sculpture.
In all our endeavors, we work within Robert Rauschenberg’s belief that art can change the world.