Maynard Dixon (1875-1946),Study of Robe for Shapes of Fear, 1930, pastel, 9 5/8 x 6 5/16 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, 1937.
Dixon's anxieties over the Depression and his interest in Southwestern and Native American subjects intersect in this arresting study for his painting Shapes of Fear. Is this figure with a blanket pulled over its head hiding in a cocoon, seeking safety from the ills of the world? Or perhaps this is an incarnation of Dixon’s fears—a symbolic reaper-like figure waiting silently, an omen of the uncertain future.