Celebrating Pride month with an exhibition throwback and an artist feature.
The Richard and Carole Cocks Art Museum (RCCAM) celebrates this Pride month by sharing with you info about a past exhibition of works by famous artist Paul Cadmus as well as a few works by him that are in our collection.
Paul Cadmus (December 17, 1904 – December 12, 1999) was an American artist – one of the first openly gay artists who unabashedly made artworks with queer themes, Cadmus was a pioneer of Queer Art and an important figure in the history of twentieth-century American art.
The Art Museum has 27 works by Paul Cadmus in the permanent collection, here we share three of his works.
Although Paul Cadmus’ work may not seem controversial, he tested the boundaries of American culture during the 1930s with depictions of male nude figures outside the context of classical forms. Favoring the nude male body and openly expressing his homosexuality, Cadmus, along with a few other artists, started the invasion of gay art in the 1970s by expressing their identity in their work. His ideas were bold, yet the majority of his works retained a delicate and classical styling demonstrating his love for the representation of figures in paintings and prints by Old Masters of the Renaissance. Cadmus was determined that people should see the erotic male nude as a beautiful subject, ultimately desiring that his work be acknowledged as high art because to him “the naked man is the most beautiful thing there is.”
In 1992, Cadmus stated, “I specialize in male nudes. I’ve done many more males than females. I like to do females too, but they’re sort of harder to come by in a way. And they don’t generally pose as well as men. They have a tendency to faint. I think—and I don’t know whether this is just my own idea—that men are vainer than women in that they work harder at their posing.”
Celebrating Artistic Diversity is at the very core of our mission and we strive to be inclusive and welcoming to all through our exhibitions, programs and also our collections. RCCAM wishes to create a space of acceptance that makes members of the LGBTQIA+ community welcome to our spaces, events, and programs. Please see here for more information about LGBTQIA+ initiatives and support at Miami University