Robert Rauschenberg
Accident, 1963
Robert Rauschenberg, Accident, 1963. Lithograph, 41 1/4 in x 29 1/4 in. The Nancy Gray Sherrill, Class of 1954, Collection, 2007.19

A prolific printmaker, who none-the-less had to be coaxed into trying the medium by Tatyana Grosman of Universal Limited Art Editions, Robert Rauschenberg has created nearly 1000 prints to date. His printmaking career began in 1962 at ULAE and has since been defined by experimentation and innovation, including the use of photographic elements in his prints. Accident, created early on, in 1963, reveals the method of its making through the mishap of the large limestone matrix cracking during the printing process. Embracing this chance bifurcation of his image, Rauschenberg determined to continue printing the edition from the broken blocks, going so far as to include the detritus pooled at the bottom of the crack. Accident won first prize at the Ljubljana Graphic Biennial in 1963, catapulting American printmaking and the nascent workshop ULAE to international renown. Today, this print is considered amongst the most significant in the history of American printmaking.