Paul Cadmus (1904-1999)
Paul Cadmus (1904-1999)
Paul Cadmus (1904-1999)
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Paul Cadmus (1904-1999)
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Modern Icons: Property from an Important Private Collection
PAUL CADMUS (1904-1999)

Lloyd and Barbara Wescott

PAUL CADMUS (1904-1999)
Lloyd and Barbara Wescott
signed and dated 'Cadmus/1942' (lower right)—signed again 'Paul Cadmus,' dated again and inscribed with title (on the reverse)
tempera on gessoed masonite
21 3⁄4 x 35 in. (55.2 x 88.9 cm.)
Painted in 1942.
The artist.
Lloyd and Barbara Wescott, Clinton, New Jersey, acquired from the above, 1942.
Mrs. Thaine Clark, daughter of the above, by 1976.
Middendorf Galleries, Washington, D.C.
Private collection, acquired from the above, 1988.
Sotheby's, New York, 29 November 2006, lot 61, sold by the above.
Acquired by the present owner from the above.
L. Kirstein, Paul Cadmus, New York, 1984, pp. 70-71, 74, 134, illustrated (as Lloyd and Barbara Wescott with Eclipse of Morston, Mulhocoway Butterfat Favorite and Heartsease Butterfat Heather).
P.H. Falk, Record of the Carnegie Institute's International Exhibitions, 1896-1996, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1998, p. 57.
New York, Museum of Modern Art, Twentieth Century Portraits, December 9, 1942-January 24, 1943, pp. 130-34, illustrated (as Lloyd and Barbara Wescott with Eclipse of Morston, Mulhocoway Butterfat Favorite and Heartsease Butterfat Heather).
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Carnegie Institute, Painting in the United States, 1946, October 10-December 8, 1946.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Museum of Art, American Family Portraits, 1976.
New Brunswick, New Jersey, Rutgers University Art Gallery; Montgomery, Alabama, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts; College Park, Maryland, University of Maryland Art Gallery, Realism and Realities: The Other Side of American Painting, 1940-1960, January 17-October 18, 1982, p. 188, no. 32.
New York, DC Moore Gallery, Interwoven Lives: George Platt Lynes and His Friends, September 6-October 20, 2001.

Brought to you by

Tylee Abbott
Tylee Abbott Vice President, Head of American Art

Lot Essay

“Cadmus memorialized its ample barns and silos, the immaculate efficiency of a carefully run establishment, with its plowed fields beyond.” (Lincoln Kirstein, Paul Cadmus, New York, 1984, p. 71)

Fully engrossing and intricate, Paul Cadmus’ Lloyd and Barbara Westcott is a tour de force of twentieth-century American Art, effortlessly blending themes of Magic Realism, Precisionism and Regionalism. With exacting detail, New Jersey farmers Lloyd and Barbara Westcott rest casually in their surrounding land—filled with hearty livestock and a towering barn and silo. Indeed, with works such as Lloyd and Barbara Westcott, Paul Cadmus earns his reputation as a 20th-century American master.

Born in Manhattan in 1904, Paul Cadmus received his first instruction in the fine arts from his parents who were both professional artists. At fifteen, he enrolled for classes at the National Academy of Design before becoming a commercial illustrator. By 1931, he had saved enough money to travel to Europe—where he embarked on a bicycle tour of France and Spain with his lover, the painter Jared French. At the end of their trip, Cadmus settled for two years on the island of Mallorca but returned to the United States two years later. Cadmus’ 1934 painting The Fleet’s In! for the Public Works of Art Project earned him instant notoriety after it was ejected from the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s exhibition. In 1937, Cadmus had his first one-man show at New York’s Midtown galleries and in 1940 discovered the traditional Renaissance medium of egg yolk tempera which he utilized in the present work.

Cadmus painted Lloyd and Barbara Westcott the same year he received his first important institutional exhibition Three American Painters at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Discussing the present work along with Stone Blossom: A Conversation Piece (1939-40, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), Lincoln Kirstein writes “These twin intimate groups attest to the dignified and efficient professionalism, as well as cordial sympathy for friends, their animals, houses, barns and manner of life. These pictures recall English portraiture by Gainsborough, Zoffany and Stubbs. Delicate accuracy is lavished on those practical properties that are signs of the rare, enviable and luxurious simplicity with which inherited wealth endows responsible heirs.” (Paul Cadmus, New York, 1984, p. 71)

Lloyd and Barbara Westcott owned the Mulhocoway farm in central New Jersey where they kept prized black-and white-Guerneys and Suffolk Punch draft horses. The couple also pioneered the artificial insemination of cattle. Today the Westcott farm is underwater as part of a reservoir for the state of New Jersey.

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