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Bar Italia
August 18, 2006

Paul Cadmus, Bar Italia, 1953–1955, tempera on wood, 37 1/2 x 45 1/4 in., Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., 1969.47.54.

Getting tired of mobs of tourists wherever you travel this summer?  Paul Cadmus could relate.  He created Bar Italia to satirize the tourist crowds in Italy, where he lived and worked in the early 1950s.  Cadmus painted himself amid the revelers, just behind and to the right of the man leaning over the ledge.  He is shown raising his right eyebrow and holding his hand to his mouth. (See a cropped image that focuses on the artist.)

Want to learn more? Listen as Paul Cadmus describes the painting in our video on the Web site of the Luce Foundation Center for American Art. While you are there, you can zoom into the image and explore all the colorful characters up close. If you're in or around Washington, D.C., you can also see this painting in person at the (quite civilized and air-conditioned) Luce Foundation Center at our museum.

Posted by Cassie on August 18, 2006 in American Art Here


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