A native of Port Arthur, Texas, Robert Rauschenberg was born on October 22, 1925. After briefly attending the University of Texas at Austin to study pharmacology, and serving in the United States Navy during World War II, he enrolled at the Kansas City Art Institute in 1947. In early 1948, he traveled to Paris to study at the Académie Julien, where he met fellow artist Susan Weil; they later married and had a son, Christopher. In the autumn, the couple returned to the United States to study under Josef Albers at Black Mountain College near Asheville, North Carolina until the spring of 1949. Later that year, Rauschenberg moved to New York City and enrolled at the Art Students League. Rauschenberg returned to Black Mountain College in 1951 and again in 1952 when he formed friendships with Merce Cunningham, John Cage, and David Tudor, and participated in CageʼsTheater Piece #1, which is now acknowledged as the first Happening. Since the early 50s, Rauschenbergʼs sustained involvement in theatre and dance has resulted in costume and set designs for Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Viola Farber, Steve Paxton, and Trisha Brown, as well as for his own productions.

Robert Rauschenberg and Model with "Blueprint," 1951.

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