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Paul Cadmus

MERCILESS CARICATURIST, gruesome fantasist, homoerotic moralist, and above all maker of wonderfully crafted drawings and paintings: Paul Cadmus worked in many modes throughout his life and created so many surprising and often disturbing varieties of art that even those most passionate about his work are seldom unequivocal in their assessments. About Cadmus him-self, however, all agree: This enormously talented artist was also the kindest, gentlest, most self-deprecating of men.

A scholarship student at the National Academy of Design, Cadmus became a printmaker, following in the steps of the Ashcan School, before a 1931 trip to Europe in the company of his bisexual lover, the painter Jared French, changed his life forever. Cadmus returned to America a satiric painter and muralist who dared to take on the manners and morals of any number of institutions, including, in his 1934 work The Fleet’s

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