PAJAMA (PAUL CADMUS, JARED FRENCH AND MARGARET FRENCH)
a group of 10 photographs including portraits of Paul Cadmus, Jared French, Margaret French, Fidelma Cadmus, George Tooker, José Martinez and others, many of them titled by Paul Cadmus in pencil and four with 'Collection of Paul Cadmus' and 'Collection of Jon Anderson' stamps on the reverse
10 gelatin silver prints
various sizes to 6⅝ x 4½ in.; 16.8 x 11.4 cm
These photographs, printed on various types of paper, are in generally very good to excellent condition. The following are present on some or all of the prints: age-appropriate silvering in the darkest areas of the image, and minor wear to the edges and corners, including some minor chipping. Some prints are faintly yellowed in the highlights.
Additional notes are as follows:
1. Untitled [Paul Cadmus and Margaret French, Provincetown], n.d., 6 3/8 x 4 1/4 in. Written by Paul Cadmus in pencil on the reverse are the following: 'PC & MF Provincetown'; and in another hand: 'K 21' and '6391.'
2. Untitled [Paul Cadmus or Jared French and Margaret French, Provincetown], circa 1947, 4 1/4 x 6 5/8 in. Written by Cadmus in pencil on the reverse are the following: 'JF or PC and MF Provincetown'; and in another hand: 'K 21' and '6427.' This image is published in 'Collaborations.'
3. 'José Martinez, Paul Cadmus and Fidelma Cadmus, Fire Island,' 1939, 6 1/2 x 4 1/8 in. There is a very small deposit of original retouching in the water area near the horizon line. There is very faint soiling (possibly an abrasion) in the upper right corner. Written by Cadmus in pencil on the reverse is the following: 'Jose Martinez / P.C. / Fidelma / Fire Is.' and annotated in another hand, 'Pete'. This print is published in 'Collaborations' under a title that identifies the female figure as Margaret French.
4. Paul Cadmus, Untitled [George Tooker and Jared French, Provincetown], 1947, 6 1/2 x 4 1/4 in. In raking light, there is a small deposit of original retouching in the water and a very small abrasion in the upper right corner. It is signed and annotated by Paul Cadmus in pencil on the reverse: '1947 Ptown G. Tooker, J.F. by P.C.'; and in another hand: 'K 19'; '131'; and '6390.' 'Collection of Paul Cadmus' stamp is on the reverse.
5. 'Fidelma, Nantucket,' n.d., 4 1/4 x 6 1/4 in. When examined closely in raking light, two small impressions that do not appear to break the emulsion are visible in the lower right quadrant. Titled in pencil by Paul Cadmus on the reverse, 'Fidelma, Nantucket' and annotated in another hand 'K/2'.
6. 'Fidelma Cadmus and Margaret French, Sconset,' 1946, 4 1/4 x 6 1/2 in. There are two minor scratches that do not break the emulsion near the center. Written by Paul Cadmus in pencil on the reverse is the following: 'Fidelma and Margaret Sconset 1946'; and in another hand, 'J6.' 'Collection of Paul Cadmus' and 'Collection of Jon Anderson' stamps are on the reverse.
7. 'Fidelma Cadmus and Margaret French, Nantucket,' n.d., 6 5/8 x 4 1/2 in. There is a minor scratch that does not break the emulsion at center right. The following is written in pencil by Paul Cadmus on the reverse: 'Fidelma and Margaret Nantucket'; and in another hand, 'J7.'
8. Margaret French, 'Jared French, Saltaire,' n.d., 5 7/8 x 3 3/4 in. The following is written by Paul Cadmus in pencil on the reverse: 'J. French by M. French Saltaire.' 'Collection of Paul Cadmus' and 'Collection of Jon Anderson' stamps are on the reverse.
9. Untitled [George Tooker, Nantucket], n.d., 6 3/8 x 4 1/4 in. Written in pencil by Paul Cadmus on the revers is the following: 'George Tooker / & J.F.? / Nantucket' and 'J3.'
10. Jared French, 'Bob Wallace,' 1947, 6 3/8 x 4 1/4 in. The following is written on the reverse by Paul Cadmus in blue pencil: 'Bob Wallace'; in pencil: '1947 by J F'; and in another hand: '2500.' 'Collection of Paul Cadmus' and 'Collection of Jon Anderson' stamps are on the reverse.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Gift of Paul Cadmus to Jon Anderson
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Collaboration: The Photographs of Paul Cadmus, Margaret French and Jared French, Santa Fe 1992, unpaginated (two images from this lot are illustrated in this volume)
The painter Paul Cadmus (1904 - 1999) and married artists Jared (1902 - 1989) and Margaret French (1906 - 1998) comprise the photographic collaborative known by their acronym, PaJaMa. Beginning in 1937, and over the course of nearly two decades, the trio collectively staged photographs set against the backdrops of Fire Island, Provincetown, and Nantucket, among other locations. Their psychologically and sexually charged images were inspired in part by Carl Jung's concept of the collective unconscious and often served as studies for the artists' subsequent paintings and works on paper, four of which are also on offer in this sale (see lots 18, 45, 46, and 49). The statuesque quality of the figures and the stillness of each scenario are key characteristics of PaJaMa’s photographs as well as their individual works, clear evidence of the symbiotic relationship between these various mediums.
As Cadmus years later recounted, 'After we'd been working most of the day, we'd go out late afternoons and take photographs when the light was best. They were just playthings. We would hand out these little photographs when we went to dinner parties, like playing cards' (Jerry Rosco, Glenway Wescott Personally: A Biography, p. 78). The group of 10 prints offered here comes originally from the collection of Jon Anderson, Paul Cadmus' lover for his last 30 years. Extant photographs by PaJaMa are rare as they were printed and gifted sparingly.