The Bob Rauschenberg Gallery does not develop its exhibition program from unsolicited proposals from artists, and we regret that our resources do not allow for curatorial review of such submissions. We appreciate your interest and your understanding.
Born Milton Ernest Rauschenberg in 1925, in the process of later transforming himself into an artist, Rauschenberg changed his name. According to Rauschenberg, “I didn’t want to be called Miltie or Ernie anymore. I had had enough of it for two and a half years in the Navy. So I started calling myself Bob. I liked it. Then later when people got to know me better and just assumed that I had some dignity, it became Robert… So now I’m known as either Robert or Bob.”
In 2004, when former Director Ron Bishop proposed renaming the Gallery of Fine Art in Bob Rauschenberg’s honor, the artist humbly embraced the idea. A number of monikers were discussed and carefully considered. Given his longstanding relationship with the College and familiarity within the community, Rauschenberg made the decision to generously give us the “Bob Rauschenberg Gallery” name.
Florida SouthWestern State College (at that time it was Edison College) had a dedication ceremony that June which was attended by nearly a thousand friends from across Southwest Florida. The festivities coincided with a new exhibit titled “Rauschenberg: Scenarios.”
As he often did, the artist donated a limited-edition print to benefit the Gallery and to commemorate the dedication. He inked his thumb with orange pigment adding a unique impression on each and simply signed them “Bob.”