Paul Cadmus (American, 1904-1999), "Waiting for Rehearsal", etching, 1 – Lofty Marketplace
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Paul Cadmus (American, 1904-1999), "Waiting for Rehearsal", etching, 1984, second BAT outside the ed. of 175, signed

Paul Cadmus (American, 1904-1999), "Waiting for Rehearsal", etching, 1984, second BAT outside the ed. of 175, signed

Item Description:

Etching printed on a large sheet of handmade paper, a working B.A.T. printed by Pelavin Editions, New York, 1984, under the supervision of the artist, apart from the edition of 175 (printed on a smaller sheet) published by Imago Editions on the occasion of the 80th birthday of the artist, signed in pencil "Paul Cadmus" lower right near the plate, inscribed "2nd BAT Waiting for Rehearsal" in pencil lower left near the plate, signed again and inscribed in pencil lower right "2nd BAT, Paul Cadmus", with full margins, unframed


This was the printer's working B.A.T. The work exhibits soft creases from handling and light stains to the margin. Pinholes to the upper right and left corners (from being pinned to the wall for reference). Waviness to the print from improper flattening after printing. Inscriptions in pencil to the lower left and right corners. Please contact for specific condition questions and to request a full condition report.


Collection of the printer, Cheryl Pelavin.


Sheet: Height 23 in. x Width 14.5 in.

Plate: Height 11.5 in. x. Width 7.75 in.

About The Artist:

Paul Cadmus was an American painter who was born in New York City in 1904. He was well known for his satirical paintings and drawings of male nudes. His parents were also artists and at only age fourteen, he left public school and entered the National Academy of Design and the Arts Students League. In 1931, Cadmus travelled to the Mediterranean with his lover and teacher Jared French. When they returned in 1933, Cadmus joined the Public Works of Art Project, a federal art program designed to employ artists during the Great Depression. Cadmus presented "The Fleet's In" at a WPA show at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. The painting showed sexually curious navy men engaging in general debauchery and being propositioned by prostitutes. The painting was so controversial that it was removed from the show, but Cadmus received instant notoriety as an artist and satirist. Public outcries ensued throughout the 1930s when Cadmus exhibited his painting Coney Island and for the series "Aspects of Suburban Life". By the time Cadmus' one man show was organized at Midtown Galleries in New York in 1937, Cadmus was already very well known. The exhibition received more than 7,000 spectators.

In the late 1930s, Cadmus was employed by the Ballet Caravan, headed by cultural icon Lincoln Kirstein, to design the set and costumes for the ballet "Filling Station". In 1941, Kirstein married Cadmus' sister Fidelma. Kirstein became one of Cadmus' most important patrons. He would go on to help found the New York City Ballet. Through the 1930s Cadmus continued to paint controversial works. He was introduced to the medium of egg tempera in 1940 and temporarily withdrew from scandalous subjects. He focused on scenes of Fire Island and a series of dancers in studios.

Cadmus' continued success gave him the recognition of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. In 1961, he received a grant from the Institute and he soon began to work on a series of male nude figures using the Renaissance technique of chiaroscuro, the dramatic effect of contrasting light and shadow. It was through this project that Cadmus met model Jon Anderson, the "Nantucket Man" on Nantucket Island in 1964. The two lovers would remain together until Cadmus' death in 1999.

Cadmus became the subject of a 1984 documentary "Paul Cadmus: Enfant Terrible" and his works have been collected by museums throughout the United States including, ironically, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Waiting for Rehearsal is likely based off of Cadmus' dancer series from the 1940s. The presence of the NYC B (New York City Ballet) sign indicates that the original drawing was made sometime after 1948 when the company was founded. The etching depicts three dancers relaxing before the start of rehearsal. They are idealized figures, that is, young, beautiful, and toned. Cadmus employed a cross hatching technique akin to what was used during the Renaissance.


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