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Paul Cadmus (American, 1904-99), "Male Nude JF3", 1932, pencil on paper, signed

Paul Cadmus (American, 1904-99), "Male Nude JF3", 1932, pencil on paper, signed

Lofty says:

Paul Cadmus (American, 1904-99), "Male Nude JF3", 1932, pencil on paper, signed

Item Description:

Titled lower left "JF3", signed, located and dated "Cadmus, Mallorca '32", framed and glazed


Buckling to the sheet. Frame is damaged. Please contact cataloging@lofty.com for specific condition questions. Not examined out of the frame. Lofty does not guarantee the condition or authenticity of frames.


Midtown Galleries, East 57 Street, New York City
Private collection, New York
Inherited to the current owner, 1997


Height 12.5 in. x Width 7 in. (sheet)
Height 19.75 in. x Width 13.75 in. (frame)

About The Artist:

This work, executed in 1932, is an early work from Cadmus' time in Mallorca, Spain, before the artist hit it big in 1934. The title, "Male Nude JF3" refers to Jared French, Paul Cadmus' friend and collaborator.

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 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.

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.


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