Paul Cadmus. Greenwich Village Cafeteria.
1934. Oil on canvas.
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Extended loan from United States Public Works of Art Project.



Paul Cadmus's riotous Greenwich Village Cafeteria introduces into the Social Realism of the day the come-hither glance of the man heading into the bathroom. Although a "type," he is virtually the only person in the picture who is not a flat-out caricature other than the man on the opposite side of the image who is whispering into another another's ear. Cadmus's vividly colored and topical scenes introduced sexual innuendo into the core of American life using a palette and figurative motifs drawn from the Italian Renaissance.