The Fleet's In


Paul Cadmus ( American, 1904 - 1999 )

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General Description

In 1934, while working for the Works Progress Administration, Paul Cadmus received a commission from the U.S. Navy to paint a scene of sailors on leave. This etching is a reproduction of that painting. When the finished canvas was exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery, its vignettes of drunken sailors carousing with prostitutes, not to mention the suggestion of a gay pickup, offended the Secretary of the Navy, Claude A. Swanson, who demanded the painting be removed from view. Hidden from sight for nearly fifty years, the painting now hangs in the U.S. Navy Museum in Washington, D.C.