Oral history interview with Mary Lynn Kotz 2016


Kotz, Mary Lynn (Interviewee)
Clark, Mary Marshall (Interviewer)
Oral history interview with Mary Lynn Kotz 2016
Mary Lynn Kotz tells the story of first meeting Robert Rauschenberg on Captiva Island in the early 1980s, and developing a rapport with him that led to their collaboration on his biography. She recounts stories from her time spent researching the book, and shares stories that Rauschenberg himself shared with her. She observes that Rauschenberg's work is autobiographical, offering the example of his work Pegasits. She tells stories from her visit to see Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI) Cuba. She describes Rauschenberg's personal relationships with his family, with other artists, and with others. She was with Rauschenberg shortly before he died, and tells the story of her last encounter with him
Collection Name
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation oral history collection
Autobiographical memory in art; Writing and art; Artists; Captiva Island (Fla.); Kotz, Mary Lynn; Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008; Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange
oral histories
Physical Description
130 pages
Note (Biographical)
Mary Lynn Kotz is a journalist and author who has published four books as well as numerous articles for major publications in the fields of history, politics, and art. Compelled to study the life and work of Robert Rauschenberg after viewing The 1/4 M ile or 2 Furlong Piece (1981-98) in Fort Myers, Florida in 1982, Kotz went on to write the first comprehensive biography of the artist, Rauschenberg: Art and Life (1990) published by Abrams. She conducted extensive interviews with Rauschenberg at his Captiva home and studio and traveled with the artist during the Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI, 1984-91). Her lavishly illustrated biography remains a touchstone resource for Rauschenberg studies and revised editions appeared in 2004 and 2018
Interviewed by Mary Marshall Clark on July 16, 2015 and July 15, 2016
Note (Provenance)
Mary Lynn Kotz, Gift, transferred from Columbia Center for Oral History Research 2019
Library Location
Columbia Center for Oral History, Columbia University
Browse Location’s Digital Content
Catalog Record
Also In
Oral History Archives at Columbia
Persistent URL
Related URLs
Available digital content for this interview.