The Secret Life of Matson Jones

Who was Matson Jones?

In 1951, Gene Moore, the display director for Bonwit Teller and Tiffany & Co., hired 'Matson Jones' to build props for his department store window displays.

Who was this artist?

Milton Ernest Rauschenberg was born the son of Ernest Rauschenberg, and Dora (Matson) Rauschenberg. In the late '40s he changed his first name because he felt that Robert sounded more artistic than Milton. Rauschenberg's most important artistic collaboration was with the painter Jasper Johns. Not since Picasso and Braque had jointly invented Cubism a half century earlier had two artists worked together as closely. "Jasper and I literally traded ideas," Rauschenberg once said. "He would say, 'I've got a terrific idea for you,' and then I'd have to find one for him." The two men shared a studio, became lovers, and supported themselves in the 1950's by doing window displays for Bonwit Teller and Tiffany & Co. under the pseudonymous Matson Jones.

Robert Rauschenberg + Jasper Johns = Matson Jones

Both Rauschenberg’s combine paintings and John's everyday object paintings had a strong impact on my developing sensibility. 

Rauschenberg also collaborated with companions and artists Cy Twombly and more recently with Darryl Pottorf.

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