Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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Image of Fear of Dark 41405


Katherine Bradford (New York City, New York, 1942 - )


Fear of Dark

Creation Date



early 21st century


80 x 68 in. (203.2 x 172.72 cm)

Object Type


Creation Place

North America, United States

Medium and Support

acrylic on canvas

Credit Line

Gift of David and Barbara Roux in honor of Frank and Anne Goodyear


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

Accession Number

Suggesting the comfort provided by a mother’s lap in the face of uncertainty, Fear of Dark— painted in the summer of 2020 amidst a pandemic and growing cries for racial justice—alludes the profound challenges of our era. As if to offer encouragement, the painting evokes the light that may emerge during darkness through stars that hover over the three sitters. Intriguingly, it is the smallest that undergirds the group, with feet well planted. Bradford notes: “It seems to me that if you go and sit on someone’s lap for a little while that eventually you will be the one to provide the lap.” Reflecting on this poignant insight, we may recognize that it is not only the young who seek reassurance from their elders, but adults who find comfort in a new vision for the future on the part of the next generation.

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