Recollections On My Friendship With Paul Cadmus
It was my first job fresh out of art school, and I was doing triple-duty at a fine print gallery located in Ridgefield, CT as a gallery assistant/print consultant/picture framer when I first met Paul Cadmus. The gallery owner, Jo Miller, a former curator of prints and drawings at the Brooklyn Museum called me out to the front of the store and there stood a tall, tanned, extremely handsome, almost rugged-looking man, 60-ish, with startling blue eyes and a full head of coiffed silver hair. This was thirty-five years ago but I remember it clearly. He was dressed in a crisp blue denim shirt and jeans. Up until that point in my young life I had never met a man who so immediately claimed one’s attention with his physical presence. With him was his longtime partner, model and performer, Jon Anderson, himself no wilting lily.
Paul had a warm and engaging personality, and even though I knew nothing about him at the time, I felt I was in the presence of a great man. I was fortunate that this encounter wasn’t the last. Indeed, we became friends. He liked to call me Marco, and I liked it when he called me this, as it made me feel special to him.
Besides my boss at the gallery, Jo Miller, we also had a common friend in Bob Metzger, who at that time was Director of the Stamford Museum and Nature Center in Stamford, CT. There were warm summer days spent poolside at Jo’s house, and artistic soiree’s I attended with my good friend Bob, often with Paul and Jon in attendance. I also was invited up to Paul’s house on several occasions. He was a skilled host, and I always felt at ease and happy in his presence. He seemed to me to be a man who knew who he was in this world, had no pretentions, and, to me at least, seemed always to be content, perhaps even happy, with an ever-inquisitive mind.
As years passed I saw Paul less and less, but still did run into him on occasion. Grown somewhat frail and obviously not as sharp in mind, the last time I saw Paul was at a gallery opening in Westport, Ct. He had shockingly long, silver hair tied in a ponytail, and was wearing a white sport coat and slacks. I sensed he did not remember me, and I did not approach him. I learned of his death shortly after this.