Paul Cadmus

To the Lynching!
1935

Not on view

Date
1935

Classification
Drawings

Medium
Graphite pencil and watercolor on paper

Dimensions
Sheet (Irregular): 23 1/2 × 18in. (59.7 × 45.7 cm)

Accession number
36.32

Credit line
Purchase

Rights and reproductions
© Estate of Paul Cadmus / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Paul Cadmus made this pencil and watercolor sketch, To the Lynching! as an entry for An Art Commentary on Lynching, an anti-lynching exhibition organized by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in New York in 1935. A graphic and explicitly political image, it places the viewer at the center of a lynch mob, replete with a rearing horse whose movements suggest an analogy with the human tormentors’ bestial violence. Three aggressors beat and claw a prone black man, whose torso and face stream blood. This was not Cadmus’s first work to take on controversial political and social issues. In 1934, federal officials removed one of his paintings from view at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., on account of its satirical, unsavory depiction of cavorting Navy sailors. In To the Lynching! Cadmus asserts his opinions once again, creating an image that bluntly questions authority and offers a scathing critique of lynching.



Paul Cadmus
11 works

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