Paul Cadmus interview C0005
Published by George Mason University Libraries
Born in 1904, Paul Cadmus was an American artist, 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.
Cadmus studied in New York at the National Academy of Design (1919-1926) and at the Art Students League (1928). He travelled in Italy from 1931 to 1933 with the painter Jared French (b. 1905), who would become his friend and lover and would convince Cadmus to stop working in commercial art so that he may devote his career entirely to fine art.
Cadmus' deep admiration for Italian Renaissance painting, skilled draughtsmanship, and classical composition led him to learn paint with egg tempera, a medium associated with Classical Greek icons. Cadmus' social concerns informed his often critical view of contemporary life, as in Sailors and Floosies (1938; New York, Whitney). Sexually ambiguous themes, which were often satirical and affectionate, pervade works such as Bar Italia (1952-1955; Washington, DC, National Museum of American Art).
In 1934 Cadmus painted The Fleet's In! while working for the Public Works of Art Project of the WPA. Depicting carousing sailors, women, and a homosexual couple, The Fleet's In! became the subject of a public outcry and was removed from exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery. The publicity from the scandal helped to launch his career.
Cadmus lived with his companion of 35 years, Jon Anderson, who was a subject of many of his works. In 1999, just five days before his 95th birthday, he died of old age at his home in Weston, Connecticut.
This collection contains U-matic 3/4" video cassettes of interviews of Paul Cadmus.
Organized by date.
Collection is open to research.
The videos in this collection are open to viewing by the public but cannot be quoted or excerpted without written permission from the family of Paul Cadmus.
Special Collections and Archives also holds other collections related to art and artists, particularly photographers.
Cadmus, Paul, 1904-1999.
Homosexuality and art.
Paul Cadmus interview collection, Collection #C0005, Special Collections and Archives, George Mason University Libraries.
Collection donated by David Sutherland.
Processed by Special Collections and Archives staff. EAD markup completed by Eron Ackerman and Jordan Patty in August 2009.