Silhouettes (The Frenches), Hawthorne House, Provincetown

PaJaMa American

Not on view

Forging a collective identity using the first two letters of each of their names, Paul Cadmus, Jared French, and Margaret French toyed with the earnestness of artistic photography. During trips to Fire Island, Nantucket, and Cape Cod, the three painters, who shared a sexually charged long-term relationship, channeled the magical realism of their canvases into photographic recreations with undertones of psychosexual tension. Fellow artists and writers Lincoln Kirstein, George Tooker, Truman Capote, and George Platt Lynes, among others, joined in staging playfully enigmatic photographs in which figures, though often physically close, seem to remain emotionally closeted.

Silhouettes (The Frenches), Hawthorne House, Provincetown, PaJaMa (American), Gelatin silver print

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