Tice’s drawings began to appear in both very avant-garde and very mainstream publications across New York and, in some cases, the country. According to Naumann, The World, the Chicago Tribune, The Sun, The Globe, the New York Times, Vanity Fair and others ran her illustrations and comics, including whimsical illustrations of operas, ballets (one stunning 1916–17 drawing shows the sculpted, nude body of the male dancer Vaslav Nijinsky in Serge Diaghilev’s L’Après-Midi d’un Faune), and even sports events.
“Clara Tice is the only woman, to my knowledge, who ever drew for a sports page,” wrote Mrs. Bobby Edwards in a popular New York newspaper column in 1949. “Her prizefighters, baseball pitchers, etc. appeared for years in the St. Louis Star.”
She also contributed a children’s serial cartoon, “Lucy Lou, the Kangaroo,” to another New York paper. The piece tracked the adventures of Lucy as she encountered different animals (favored subjects for Tice throughout her work—she owned some 12 dogs over the course of her life). The Blind Man, a Dada journal run by Dada artists Duchamp, Wood, and Henri-Pierre Roché, also ran Tice’s work, confirming her place in their bohemian circle.
She became a regular at the famed salons of Dada patrons Walter and Louise Arensberg, and attended and designed the posters for Greenwich Village’s fancy dress balls, wild parties with names like “Insect Frolic” and “Pagan Rout” that often ended in participants shedding their costumes and frolicking in the buff.
These events, as well as the live models she worked with, informed her nudes, which were her most talked-about works (and which she continued to make until she passed away, in 1973).
In the 1920s, for instance, Tice painted a spellbinding mural for a swanky new restaurant, the Fifth Avenue Club, populated by 45 cavorting nymphs rendered in silver and gold. “It was so spectacular,” Keller writes in her essay, “that Heywood Broun, sitting beneath her exotic painting, altered his customary beverage order. Sending back the beer, he proclaimed: ‘Under that mural, I can drink only champagne.’”