Paul Cadmus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Paul Cadmus
Cadmus, Paul (1904-1999) - 1937 - Foto Carl Van Vechten.jpg
Cadmus photo taken by Carl Van Vechten, 1937
Born (1904-12-17)December 17, 1904
New York, New York
Died December 12, 1999(1999-12-12) (aged 94)
Weston, Connecticut
Nationality American
Education National Academy of Design
Known for Painting, drawing

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.

Early life and education[edit]

Cadmus was born on December 17, 1904 in New York City, the son of artists, Maria Latasa and Egbert Cadmus.[1][2] His father worked as a commercial artist and his mother illustrated children's books.

At age 15, Cadmus left school to attend the National Academy of Design for 6 years.[3] 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.[4] He furthered his education while traveling through Europe from 1931 to 1933 with fellow artist, Jared French.[3]


Gilding the Acrobats (1935)

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.[4]

In 1934, he painted The Fleet's In! while working for the Public Works of Art Project of the WPA.[5] 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.[3] The publicity helped to launch his career.[3] 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.[6] 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[edit]

Cadmus is ranked by Artists Trade Union of Russia amongst the world's best artists of the last four centuries.[7]

List of works[edit]


Biographical works[edit]

  • 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


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d "Paul Cadmus Biography". Encyclopedia of World Biography. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Paul Cadmus". Smithsonian American Art Museum. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "Paul Cadmus (1904-1999)". NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  6. ^ Grimes, Nancy (1993). Jared French's Myths. San Francisco, California: Pomegranate Artbooks. ISBN 1-56640-322-7. 
  7. ^ "List of 10.000 world best artists of the Russian Federation Artists Trade Union". 

External links[edit]