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Clown in Gold Cape

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Clown in Gold Cape

Robert Remsen Vickrey, American, (August 26, 1926–April 17, 2011)

Creation date: 1962
Creation place: United States

Other Information

Type: Tempera Painting
Medium and Support: Tempera on board
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Norton S. Walbridge
Accession Number: 1976.212
Dimensions: 29 1/2 in. x 23 1/2 in. (74.93 cm x 59.69 cm)


Midtown Gallery, New York, New York ( - 1974)

Mr. and Mrs. Norton S. Walbridge, La Jolla, California (1974 - January 14, 1977)

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California (January 14, 1977 - )

Label Copy

October 2004
Vickery's works, which are most frequently portraits, are done in a painstaking, super realistic style. He has been called a Magic Realist and an American Surrealist, and he often uses symbolism in his work. Between 1952 and 1963, he was in nine annual exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York during a time dominated by the works of the Abstract Expressionists, and from 1957 to 1968 he had 78 works published on Time magazine covers. In Clown in Gold Cape Vickery created a portrait imbued with psychological overtones. He adroitly captured the glitter of the clown's patterned gold cape and painted it in striking contrast to his flaccid, aging skin. The artist's technique and subject matter create an overwhelming sense of isolation in this portrait of an old clown sitting alone, resplendent in the trappings of his former glory. Like Peter Hurd's Eve of Saint John, the painting is done in egg tempera, an extremely demanding medium that is difficult to master.
Last Updated: 6/19/2007


This object was included in the following exhibitions:

20th Century Realists San Diego Fine Arts Festival, Inc. , 2/1/1964 - 2/29/1964

Robert Vickrey: A Retrospective of Paintings, Drawings and Watercolors The University of Arizona Museum of Art , 2/17/1973 - 7/8/1973

Work of Robert Vickrey , 11/11/1982 - 10/16/1983

The Walbridge Legacy The San Diego Museum of Art , 4/9/1988 - 5/29/1988

Looking at America: An Exhibition Featuring Selections from the San Diego Museum Charles H. MacNider Museum , 8/21/1992 - 10/4/1992


This object has the following bibliographic references:

The Walbridge Legacy San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1988
Page Number: 64

Mr. Martin E. Petersen. San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1993
Page Number: 150

Robert Vickrey: The University of Arizona Art Museum. Tucson, Arizona, 1973
Page Number: 67, Figure Number: 67

Philip Eliasoph. Robert Vickrey the Magic of Realism Hudson Hills Press. Manchester, Vermont, 2008
Page Number: 164


Signature, Lower left:

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