Paul Cadmus: Shore Leave

9 September 2011
Shore Leave • Paul Cadmus
Paul Cadmus, Shore Leave

Carleton is lucky to have this 1930s original edition print by American artist Paul Cadmus (1904–1999). It is a raucous scene of sailors carousing with women by an artist best known for mural-scale paintings. In fact, Cadmus did a large-scale painting for the U.S. Department of the Navy that was rejected because the admiral in charge felt it wasn’t a wholesome way to present American sailors. The irony is that Cadmus was gay — even in Shore Leave you see particular attention paid to the male anatomy.

The etching is from a group of prints, mostly cityscapes and landscapes by 19th- and early-20th-century European and American printmakers, given to Carleton by the Pomerat family of Texas. They were friends of Thurlo Thomas, a zoology professor at Carleton from 1946 to 1973.