Lark Mason & Associates Presents Paul Cadmus and His Circle: Property from the Estate of Jon F. Anderson, Which Opens for Bidding on April 28 through May 19

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Lark Mason Associates is pleased to announce that Paul Cadmus and His Circle: Property from the Estate of Jon F. Anderson will open for bidding on April 28th through May 19th on  A well-known cabaret singer and actor, Jon F. Anderson was the muse and lover of artist Paul Cadmus for 36 years and the subject of many of his paintings and drawings.

Showcasing more than 400 works of art, this unprecedented sale–assembles for the first time– paintings, sculptures, photographs, and finished and preparatory drawings by not only artists Paul Cadmus, but also his intimate friends and fellow artists Jared and Margaret Hoening French. Referred to collectively by the acronym PaJaMa (acronym for Paul, Jared, and Margaret), they founded the movement known as Magical Realism. This trio formed a close, often polyamorous relationship, since Cadmus was once the lover of Jared French and others before his relationship with Anderson. Their inner circle also included: George Platt Lynes, Lincoln Kirstein, Fidelma Cadmus Kirstein, and Pavel Tchelitchew.

Paul Cadmus, “Male Nude, NM5_1965, Crayons on Hand-toned paper
Lark Mason Associates
Jared French,"Male Figures in Garden," 1934-35, Oil on Panel
Lark Mason Associates
Jared French,”Male Figures in Garden,” 1934-35, Oil on Panel
Lark Mason Associates

Born in 1904 in New York City, Cadmus is considered one of the greatest American realist artists of the 20th century.  He achieved national notoriety in 1934 through his controversial mural The Fleet’s In!, commissioned by the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP). Cadmus received $32 a week to paint the work, which depicts drunken Navy sailors carousing with prostitutes. Prior to its unveiling, a letter to the editor by a retired Navy Admiral in The Evening Star denounced the painting as offensive. As a result of the subsequent outcry, Secretary of the Navy Claude A. Swanson ordered Assistant Secretary of the Navy Henry Latrobe Roosevelt to remove the painting from the exhibition before public viewing could. Today, the mural is part of the Navy Art Collection, a branch of Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington D.C.

Jared French, whose works are also in the sale, was another prominent yet enigmatic figure who embraced Magic Realism. A talented and versatile artist–primarily recognized for his paintings in egg tempera–he also showed mastery in drawing, print, photography, and sculpture. He and Cadmus met in the 1920s and soon after started a romantic relationship and traveled through Europe from 1931 to 1933.

Margaret Hoening French "Workers at Harbor, Egg Tempera on canvas
Lark Mason Associates
Margaret Hoening French “Workers at Harbor, Egg Tempera on canvas
Lark Mason Associates

Margaret Hoening French was a companion and an important figure in the group. She was a professionally trained artist who studied at Smith College and the Art Students League and was primarily associated with photography but was also a skilled painter and printmaker. Many of her exquisite drawings, portraits, and prints are being shown for the first time and offered in this auction.

Also featured in the sale is work by Fidelma Cadmus Kirstein, the younger sister of Paul Cadmus and wife of Lincoln Kirstein, the cultural impresario and co-founder of the New York City Ballet. As a teenager, she started out early as a teenager making art and designs for a wallpaper company as well as for books, and magazines. Some of her early works and illustrations from the 1920s in this sale will be shown for the first time. While her talent in art was obvious at an early age, her personal life was deeply troubled and turmoil in her relationship with Kirstein eventually led her to abandon her work as an artist.

Says Charlene Wang: “This auction sheds a light on the world of American Modernism and the LGBT scene in New York city during the first half of the 20th century with its lively circle of artists, performers, models, photographers, and writers.” 

Among the sale’s highlights are:

Paul Cadmus, Apple Tree, c. 1925-26, Oil on Canvas (Estimate: $600-900, reserve: $300)

Paul Cadmus, Male Nude Z26, 1998, Crayons on Hand-toned Gray Strathmore Paper (Estimate: $8,000-12,000, reserve: $4,000

Jared French Male Figures in Garden, 1934-35, Oil on Panel (Estimate: $1,000-2,000, reserve: $500)

Jared French (American. 1905-1988), Three Male Figures, Tempera on Canvas Laid on Masonite (Estimate: $10,000-20,000, reserve: $3,000)

Margaret Hoening, Workers at Harbor, Egg Tempera on Board (Estimate: $2,000-3,000, reserve: $1,000)

Fidelma Cadmus Kirstein, Couples on Shore, Colored Pencil on Paper (Estimate: $600-900, reserve: $300)

For more information, contact: Charlene Wang, [email protected] or phone 646-892-8906.

About Lark Mason

With locations in New Braunfels, Texas and New York City, Lark Mason Associates, the eponymous, auction house specializing in Asian, ethnographic, and ancient works of art, was founded by Lark Mason after many years as an expert at Sotheby’s New York.

Mason served as a General Appraiser from 1979 until 1985, and as a Senior Vice President and specialist in Chinese art with Sotheby’s Chinese Works of Art Department from 1985-2003.  From 2000-2003 he concurrently was a Director of Online Auctions for He also served as a consulting curator at the Trammel and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas, Texas from 2003-2009. He is a generalist in American and European works of art and paintings, as well as an expert in the field of Chinese art and has valued and advised many private collectors and institutions.

Lark Mason Associates regularly hosts auctions on the iGavel Auctions platform and has an established history of record sales of Chinese and other works of art and holds the record for the highest price achieved for any work of art in an online sale, for a painting sold in May 2014 that realized close to $4.2m. In addition, the recent sale of the Collection from Anthony Bourdain achieved an impressive $1.846,575. Mason, the founder and CEO of iGavel Auctions, is noted for his regular appearances on “The Antiques Road Show.”

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