Robert Rauschenberg Reinstallation at the Morris Museum of Art

On September 21, in connection with the inaugural Westobou Festival, the Morris Museum of Art will unveil Robert Rauschenberg’s August Allegory (Anagrams) in its new location in the first-floor lobby of the museum. Commissioned in 1996 and completed in 1997, the Rauschenberg is an extremely large work on paper (measuring roughly five by twelve feet), created by transferring a montage of the artist’s original photographs printed in vegetable dyes. The original photographs were shot during a three-day visit to Augusta by the artist, working in collaboration with his partner Darryl Pottorf and assisted by the museum’s former deputy director, Rick Gruber.

Keith Claussen, director of the museum when the Rauschenberg was commissioned, wrote recently that “the work reflects his response to both the details and spirit of Augusta as he saw it, and elements include several church steeples, Springfield Church, Sacred Heart Cultural Center, a 19th century textile mill, the Confederate monument, a railroad bridge, an antebellum home, Augusta bricks, the ‘haunted pillar,’ and the feet of the bronze sculpture of Arnold Palmer.”

August Allegory (Anagrams) has not been on view since 2002. In its new location outside the museum’s auditorium, the work will be accessible to the public whenever talks and performances are held. A suite of the related photographic images will be installed along the staircase leading to the museum’s second-floor lobby starting September 12. The unveiling ceremony will take place on September 21 at 3:00 p.m. and will feature a talk by poet Starkey Flythe about the artist’s life.