Cadmus, Paul (1904–)
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Cadmus said that he owed “the start of [his] career really to the Admiral who tried to suppress it,” referring to the Navy’s removal of The Fleet’s In! (1934) from an exhibition of government-sponsored paintings at the Corcoran. Although it was left unsaid at the time, the Navy was probably less worried by the painting’s depiction of “enlisted men consorting with a party of streetwalkers” than its inclusion of a homosexual pickup. Slightly downstage from the interchanges between women and men, an elegantly dressed gentleman with red tie and painted lips offers a cigarette to a smiling seaman. The suppression of the picture only made it more famous: “For every individual who might have seen the original,” Esquire claimed, “at least one thousand saw it in black and white reproduction.”