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Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. Photography by Edward C. Robison III.


Artist: Paul Cadmus (1904 - 1999)
Date: 1935
16 x 12 in. (40.6 x 30.5 cm)
Framed: 24 in. × 19 3/4 in. × 2 5/8 in.
Medium: Tempera on board
Credit Line: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2011.3
Signed: l.l.: Paul Cadmus
On View
Accession Number: 2011.3
Provenance(Midtown Galleries, New York, NY); Charles Finn Williams [1873-1952] and Mrs. Charles Finn Williams, Cincinnati, OH; (Sotheby Parke Bernet, Inc., New York, NY), October 25, 1979, sale 4290, lot 218; (James Maroney, Inc., New York, NY); Myron Kunin [1928-2013] dba Curtis Galleries, Minneapolis, MN, 1979; to (Alexandre Fine Art, New York, NY), 2011; purchased by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR, 2011
Label TextIn this self-portrait, Paul Cadmus continuously draws the viewer’s gaze to his face, creating a circular composition through the bent arm, curving coat lapel, and raised pencil. The emphasis on the pencil draws the eye to the crosshatched marks that combine to create the image. Though he often depicted his gay contemporaries and was unafraid of including gay themes in his work, Cadmus rejected the notion that his work indexed his sexuality. He believed his artistic self remained separate from his personal identity.