May 22, 2019

Cover Page, Stoned Moon Book, 1970 Collage of photographs, watercolor, press type, acetate, graphite, and colored pencil on illustration board

Cover Page, Stoned Moon Book, 1970
Collage of photographs, watercolor, press type, acetate, graphite, and colored pencil on illustration board
16 in x 20 1/8 in © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

NEW YORK – In honor of the 50th anniversary of the historic July 20, 1969 moon landing, Craig F. Starr Gallery will present Robert Rauschenberg: Stoned Moon 1969-70. Twenty drawings and two prints by Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) will be on view May 30 through July 26.  

A fully illustrated catalogue is in production and will be available in late July. The publication will feature the unpublished, rough draft essay Michael Crichton (1942-2008) wrote on Rauschenberg’s Stoned Moon projects.

At NASA’s invitation, Rauschenberg traveled to Cape Canaveral in July 1969 to witness the launch of Apollo 11, the first manned spaceflight to the moon’s surface. The experience culminated in the creation of thirty-four Stoned Moon prints (1969-70), a Stoned Moon Drawing (1969), and a suite of nineteen collages and drawings for Stoned Moon Book (1970).

The NASA art program was established in 1962 to record the history of space exploration through the eyes of artists in an effort to make the space program more accessible to the public. Artists were given unprecedented access to sites and materials. Flight in general (birds, airplanes, parachutes) had long been of interest to Rauschenberg at least since the mid-50s, and spaceflight began appearing in his work in the early 60s with the concurrent NASA Mercury and then Gemini programs. Many of the charts, maps, and photographs included in the Stoned Moon lithographs, printed at Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles, were supplied by NASA. The show includes two of the best, most colorful works from the series, Sky Gardenand Banner (both 1969).

Rauschenberg intended to produce an artist’s book of his Stoned Moon Projects in an edition of 500. The book, which would have been square in format (maybe 13 x 13 inches), was to include an essay by Michael Crichton with illustrations by Rauschenberg (the suite of nineteen collages and drawings) and reproductions of the series of Stoned Moon prints. The book was never published, and the nineteen unique works, now collectively known as the Stoned Moon Book, remained in the artist’s collection and have rarely been seen or exhibited.

The collages and drawings that make up the Stoned Moon Book are comprised of NASA media images, solvent transfers, and photographs of Rauschenberg and the printers at work on the Stoned Moon series taken by photographer Malcolm Lubliner and Gemini G.E.L. co-owner Sidney Felsen. The four largest collages are widely accepted as what would have been front and back covers and the endpapers. Four of the pages are heavily collaged transfer drawings, while the remaining eleven are collages of images and fragments of texts by Rauschenberg and Henry T. Hopkins (then director of the Fort Worth Art Center). Rauschenberg’s texts draw from his personal experiences visiting Florida to witness the launch, while Hopkins’s writings reflect on the relationship between historic events and artistic representation.

This is the first time all nineteen collages and drawings that comprise the Stoned Moon Book will be on view at a New York gallery or museum. With the inclusion of the Stoned Moon Drawing (the composition of which is a summation of images and text documenting Rauschenberg’s experience witnessing the Apollo 11 launch and the production of the print series) and the series of prints represented by Sky Garden and Banner, the exhibition brings all three of Rauschenberg’s Stoned Moon Projects into one show. Robert Rauschenberg: Stoned Moon 1969-70 is made possible by loans from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and a private collection.

Craig F. Starr Gallery is located at 5 East 73rd Street between Fifth and Madison Avenues. Gallery hours are 11am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday in June and Monday – Friday in July and August. For more information, please contact the gallery at 212-570-1739 or visit


May 1, 2019

Jackie Vitale, 2019 Chef in Residence

Jackie Vitale, who will commence as Chef in Residence in June, looks forward to continuing to explore the intersection of food, art, ritual, and community during her time at the Rauschenberg Residency.

Jackie Vitale is ever excited by the magic of food: as a source of joy, a community builder, a teaching tool, and a happy home for our microbial friends. She comes to Captiva from her hometown of Stuart, Florida, where she has spent the last five years growing an urban farm, restaurant, and community space, Ground Floor Farm. As the Chef in Residence, Jackie will oversee the Foundation’s ongoing commitment to providing fresh, regionally sourced food for the resident artists. She also will work to build relationships in the southwest Florida community.

Jackie, co-founder of the Florida Ferment Fest, an annual celebration of sunshine and microbes, fell in love with fermentation while working under renowned cheesemaker Bill Oglethorpe at Kappacasein Dairy in London, where she also moonlighted as a performance maker. With her artist collective, Spork, she created immersive performance and social experiences built around food and games. Her interest in the relationship between food and art was peaked while studying with Barcelona’s Teatro de los Sentidos. Jackie has a Master of Arts in Advanced Theater Practice from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London and a Bachelor of Arts from Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.

Launched in 2016, the Rauschenberg Residency’s Chef in Residence is selected annually through an application process that supports chefs’ participation in an active artist community, while also pursuing their own culinary interests, research and community-based projects that center around sustainability and food justice. The Chef in Residence is responsible for preparing meals for the artists in residence, maintaining the Residency’s zero waste goal, and integrating produce both grown onsite from its vegetable and herb garden and from locally sourced purveyors with the same core values.

“Jackie’s application hit the mark in every aspect of what we were seeking in our next chef,” said Ann Brady, residency director. “Jackie is passionate about providing fresh, healthy and sustainably-produced food, supporting local producers, and working with environmental and human rights organizations. She is active in her community through cooking classes, committee work, and organizing events. Her keen interest in getting involved in the southwest Florida community along with her theater background and her experience as a restaurant chef, bread and cheese maker, made her the outstanding candidate for this position. We couldn’t be more excited.”

Located on Captiva Island, the Rauschenberg Residency is a creative center that welcomes artists of all disciplines from around the world to live, work, and create. Each year over 70 artists and creative thinkers from a variety of disciplines, backgrounds, ages, and career levels are selected to advance their work in this highly collaborative, interdisciplinary environment. The property spans 20 acres and includes nine buildings, a 3,600-square-foot vegetable garden, and 12 beehives.