Bowdoin College Homepage
Bowdoin College Museum of Art Logo and Wordmark

Advanced Search
Preview image of work. colored ink, gouache, acrylic and acrylic mica mortar on paper,  Rat Guards 13547


Recommend keywords

Help us make our collections more accessible by providing keywords to describe this artwork. The BCMA uses the Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus to provide consistent keywords. Enter a keyword in the field below and you will be prompted with a list of possible matching AAT preferred terms.


Rat Guards

Export record as: Plain text | JSON | CDWA-Lite | VRA Core 4


Al Taylor (b. 1948 - )


Rat Guards

Creation Date



20th century


22 1/16 in. x 13 5/8 in. (56.04 cm x 34.61 cm)

Object Type


Creation Place

North America, United States

Medium and Support

colored ink, gouache, acrylic and acrylic mica mortar on paper

Credit Line

Gift of Sarah-Ann and Werner H. Kramarsky


This artwork may be under copyright. For further information, please consult the Museum’s Copyright Terms and Conditions.

Accession Number


Art critic Klaus Kertess once described Taylor’s works as “new tools for vision.” Whether Taylor constructed sculptures out of ephemeral objects or focused in his works on paper on the visual potential of the most mundane, he constructed poetic and highly original invitations to look and think anew. This gouache overlays shimmering vertical planes of diluted inks and acrylic paint to generate an image at once mysterious and enticing. For Taylor it was a souvenir from a trip to Hawai’i, where he had noticed tin sleeves around the trunks of coconut trees, ostensibly discouraging jungle rats from stealing the precious fruit. He exhibited a series of works on paper dedicated to those “Rat Guards,” his own term, together with sculptures made from fishing floats washed to the Hawai’ian shores. With an edgy humor and knack for the poetry of trash, Taylor evoked glistening island beauty and continuous motion of the waves in objects a tourist would rather not want to see.