Art is a Form of Truth

We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth. … In free society art is not a weapon and it does not belong to the spheres of polemic and ideology. Artists are not engineers of the soul. It may be different elsewhere. But democratic society – in it, the highest duty of the writer, the composer, the artist is to remain true to himself and to let the chips fall where they may. In serving his vision of the truth, the artist best serves his nation. And the nation which disdains the mission of art invites the fate of Robert Frost’s hired man, the fate of having “nothing to look backward to with pride, and nothing to look forward to with hope.”
– President John F. Kennedy, Amherst College, October 26, 1963

Robert Rauschenberg, Skyway, 1964, oil and silkscreen on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Roberta Coke Camp Fund, The 500, Inc., Mr. and Mrs. Mark Shepherd, Jr., and General Acquisitions Fund, © Rauschenberg Estate/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Robert Rauschenberg, Skyway, 1964, oil and silkscreen on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Roberta Coke Camp Fund, The 500, Inc., Mr. and Mrs. Mark Shepherd, Jr., and General Acquisitions Fund, © Rauschenberg Estate/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

1 Response to “Art is a Form of Truth”


  1. 1 Art Person November 22, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    I remember when this painting was installed at my museum (Art Museum of South Texas) for what we thought was going to be a permanent installation. We have a curved wall that worked perfectly with the painting. It looked great there. I’m glad the painting stayed in Texas – it looks great at the DMA!


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