Guide to the Paul Cadmus interview collection, 1979-1980

Paul Cadmus interview C0005

Published by George Mason University Libraries

Contact Information:

Fenwick Library (2FL)

George Mason University

Fairfax, Virginia 22030-4444


Phone: (703) 993-2220

Fax: (703) 993-8911



Descriptive Summary

Repository George Mason University. Special Collections and Archives.
Creator David Sutherland
Title Paul Cadmus interview collection
Date 1979-1980
Physical Characteristics 2.5 linear feet
Abstract This collection contains U-matic 3/4" video cassettes of interviews of Paul Cadmus.
Collection number C0005
Language English

Biographical Information

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.

Return to the Table of Contents

Scope and Content

This collection contains U-matic 3/4" video cassettes of interviews of Paul Cadmus.

Return to the Table of Contents


Organized by date.

Return to the Table of Contents


Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions.

Use Restrictions

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.

Return to the Table of Contents

Related Material

Special Collections and Archives also holds other collections related to art and artists, particularly photographers.

Return to the Table of Contents

Index Terms


Cadmus, Paul, 1904-1999.


Homosexuality and art.

Document Types:

Video recordings.

Return to the Table of Contents

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Paul Cadmus interview collection, C0005, Special Collections and Archives, George Mason University Libraries.

Acquisition Information

Collection donated by David Sutherland.

Processing Information

Processed by Special Collections and Archives staff. EAD markup completed by Eron Ackerman and Jordan Patty in August 2009.

Return to the Table of Contents

Contents List

An electronic box inventory is unavailable. Please contact for more information.
Return to the Table of Contents