Cadmus photo taken by Carl Van Vechten, 1937
December 17, 1904|
New York, New York
|Died||December 12, 1999
Paul Cadmus (December 17, 1904 – December 12, 1999) was an American artist. He is best known for his paintings and drawings of nude male figures. His works combined elements of eroticism and social critique to produce a style often called magic realism. He painted with egg tempera.
At age 15, Cadmus left school to attend the National Academy of Design for 6 years. He then enrolled at the Art Student League in 1928 taking life-drawing lessons while working as a commercial illustrator at a New York advertising agency. He furthered his education while traveling through Europe from 1931 to 1933 with fellow artist, Jared French.
Career and life
After traveling through France and Spain, Cadmus and French settled In a fishing village on the island Mallorca. In 1933, they headed back to the United States after running out of money, where Cadmus was one of the first artists to be employed by The New Deal art programs, painting murals at post offices.
In 1934, he painted The Fleet's In! while working for the Public Works of Art Project of the WPA. This painting, featuring carousing sailors, women, and a homosexual couple, was the subject of a public outcry and was removed from exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery. The publicity helped to launch his career. He worked in commercial illustration as well, but Jared French, another tempera artist who befriended him and became his lover for a time, convinced him to devote himself completely to fine art. In 1979, he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate member, and became a full member in 1980.
Jon Andersson, who became Cadmus's longtime companion of 35 years, was a subject of many of his works.
In 1999, he died in his home in Weston, Connecticut due to advanced age, just five days shy of his 95th birthday. Cadmus's sister, Fidelma, was the wife of philanthropist and arts patron Lincoln Kirstein.
Review of works
List of works
- Jerry, 1931, Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio
- YMCA Locker Room, 1933
- Shore Leave, 1933
- The Fleet's In!, 1934, Navy Art Gallery, Washington Navy Yard
- Greenwich Village Cafeteria, 1934
- Coney Island (oil painting), 1934, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
- Coney Island (etching), 1935, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
- Aspects of Suburban Life: Main Street, 1935, D.C. Moore Gallery
- Aspects of Suburban Life: Golf, 1936, Virtual Museum of Canada
- Sailors and Floozies, 1938, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City
- Pocahontas and John Smith, 1938, Port Washington Post Office
- Two Boys on a Beach #1, 1938, D.C. Moore Gallery
- Bathers, 1939
- Herrin Massacre, 1940, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio
- Aviator, 1941
- The Shower, 1943
- Point O' View, 1945, Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts
- The Seven Deadly Sins, 1945–1949, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
- Fences, 1946, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas
- What I Believe, 1947–1948, McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas
- Playground, 1948, Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, Georgia
- The Bath, 1951
- Manikins, 1951
- Bar Italia, 1953–1955
- Night in Bologna, 1958, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC
- Sunday Sun, 1958–1959
- Le Ruban Dénoué: Hommage à Reynaldo Hahn, 1963, Columbus Museum of Art (Philip J. & Suzanne Schiller collection), Columbus, Ohio
- Jon Anderson in White Tights, 1966, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas
- Male Nude, 1966, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Missouri
- The Eighth Sin: Jealousy, 1982–1983, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
- The Haircut, 1986
- Final Study for the House that Jack Built, 1987, D.C. Moore Gallery
- Me: 1940–1990, 1990, D.C. Moore Gallery
- Jon Reading NM248, 1992, D.C. Moore Gallery
- Jon Extracting a Splinter NM255, 1993, D.C. Moore Gallery
- Self-Portrait, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas
- Eliasoph, Philip, 'Paul Cadmus and the Virtue of Anachronism,' 'Drawing' -The International Review published by the Drawing Society, Jan–Feb. 1981, pp. 97–104.
- Eliasoph, Philip, 'Paul Cadmus: Life & Work', doctoral dissertation, State University of New York at Binghamton, 1979, [authorized biography written with the artist's first-hand data, suggestions, overview;]
- Eliasoph, Philip, 'Paul Cadmus: Yesterday & Today,' Miami University Art Museum, Oxford, Ohio, with an introduction by Lloyd Goodrich, [first and only retrospective catalogue, followed by national tour to four regional art museums;]
- Eliasoph, Philip, 'Paul Cadmus at Ninety: The Virtues of Depicting Sin,' American Arts Quarterly, 1995, pp. 39–55;
- Eliasoph, Philip 'A Tribute to Paul Cadmus: Posthumous Appreciation', American Art Journal-Smithsonian Institution, Fall, 2000, Vol 14.No. 3.
- Eliasoph, Philip 'Paul Cadmus: Reflections,' catalogue essay for Christie's American Art sale, "Important Americian Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture," May 24, 2007, pp. 199–206.
- Sutherland, David. Paul Cadmus, Enfant Terrible at 80. Documentary film, 1984. Philip Eliasoph, Associate Producer, created with funding and support of Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut.
- Kirstein, Lincoln. Paul Cadmus,(Imago Imprint: Arnold Skolnick) 1984.
- The Drawings of Paul Cadmus. (Introduction by Guy Davenport).
- Spring, Justin. Paul Cadmus: The Male Nude (New York: Universe, 2002)
- Corcoran Gallery, Washington, DC, 1935
- Midtown Galleries, New York, 1937
- Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, 1942
- Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1996
- D.C. Moore Gallery, New York, 1996
- "Paul Cadmus Biography". Encyclopedia of World Biography. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
- "Paul Cadmus". Smithsonian American Art Museum. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
- Grimes, Nancy (1993). Jared French's Myths. San Francisco, California: Pomegranate Artbooks. ISBN 1-56640-322-7.
- "List of 10.000 world best artists of the Russian Federation Artists Trade Union".
- Oral history interview with Paul Cadmus, 1988 Mar. 22 – May 5 from the Smithsonian Archives of American Art
- Paul Cadmus letters to Webster Aitken, 1945–1979 also from the Archives of American Art
- Art and Social Issues Paul Cadmus' Herrin Massacre as commentary of a 1925 labor dispute in Herrin, Illinois. Also includes links to artist biography and teacher resources.
- Paul Cadmus at MuseumSyndicate.com