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Robert Vickrey
Fear
1954
egg tempera
34 1/4 x 58 1/4 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation



In his paintings, as in the many drawings he did for Time magazine during the 1950s, Vickrey takes the viewpoint of the detached observer. He says, however, that to the careful viewer his paintings always convey a “sense of danger.” Certainly this is true of Fear, in which he used the shimmering medium of egg tempera to depict a nun fleeing the “rubble and erosion of contemporary civilization.”