Paul Cadmus (December 17, 1904 - December 12, 1999) was an artist born in New York City. He is 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. He painted with egg tempera, a medium which had been associated with Greek icons.
In 1934 he painted The Fleet's In! while working for the Public Works of Art Project of the WPA. This painting, featuring carousing sailors, women, and a homosexual man, was the subject of a public outcry and was removed from exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery. The publicity helped to launch his career. He worked in commercial illustration as well, but Jared French, another tempera artist who befriended him and became his lover, convinced him to devote himself completely to fine art.
He lived with his companion of 35 years, Jon Anderson, who was a subject of many of his works.
In 1999 he died in his home in Weston, Connecticut due to advanced age, just five days short of his 95th birthday.
National Academy of Design (1926),
Art Students League (1928),
Travels through Europe (1931-1933).
- Corcoran Gallery, Washington, DC, 1935
- Midtown Galleries, New York, 1937
- Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1996
- D.C. Moore Gallery, New York, 1996
- "Gayness is not the raison d'Ítre of my work."
- "As an unknown artist at the time, I benefited from the censorship controversy -- and I am eternally grateful to that offended admiral."