Aspects of Suburban Life: Polo Spill


Paul Cadmus (1904-1999), Aspects of Suburban Life: Polo Spill, etching, 1938, signed in pencil lower right, titled and inscribed in pencil “artists proof” lower left. Reference: Davenport 41, from the first edition, an artist’s proof aside from the edition (of 75). In excellent condition, with full margins printed on a cream wove paper with deckle edges all around, 7 x 9 3/8, the sheet 10 x 13 inches.

A fine impression of this composition, representing Cadmus’s mocking of an upper class recreational drama taking place during the Great Depression.

In 1936 Cadmus was commissioned by the Treasury Relief Art Project to execute murals for the Port Washington, Long Island post office, and he chose a series satirizing Aspects of Suburban Life for his subject. There were considerable objections to his sardonic treatment of subjects such as Commuter Rush, Main Street, Polo Spill, and Golf, and the full-size murals were never painted. The Project did commission him to paint the series as half-size easel pictures. Three of these works, including Polo Spill, are now in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C.