Hannah Craft joined the museum as a teaching artist in 2014, but since she began managing the museum’s 35 outreach programs last summer, she spends the majority of her time outside the classroom. “We serve about 1,700 kids a week,” says Craft. “Our programs are mostly in public schools, some in shelters and transitional housing complexes—during school, after school, art therapy—I basically help set them all up.”
For Craft, the best thing about working at the museum is “spending time in these buildings surrounded by really, really great art and other people who care about it.” When asked which work is the greatest, she opts for Robert Rauschenberg’s Trophy V (for Jasper Johns), on view in the Temporary Exhibition Gallery 10. The 78-by-72-inch canvas is one of the artist’s signature “combines”—a form that joins sculpture and painting—featuring an inset metal-frame window, an attached cardboard box, and several other three-dimensional objects painted in various tones of gray.
“I’ve always loved Rauschenberg,” Craft explains. “I’m a huge fan of assemblage and combines and just kind of…piling stuff together. I have so much respect for painting, but I’m a sculptor, so I’ve always appreciated how he pushed what we think of as painting and took it beyond the two-dimensional canvas, and how he incorporated found objects. Kids who see it tend to say ‘That’s not a painting!’ which I think is a really fun conversation because it’s not…but it is. I’m really interested in what other people consider art or trash, and this piece makes you think about those questions.”
Robert Rauschenberg (American, 1925-2008)
Trophy V (for Jasper Johns), 1962
Combine painting on canvas
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick R. Weisman in honor of James W. Foster, 1971 (4022.1)