Paul Cadmus

Paul Cadmus
Study for Herrin Massacre
Pen and black ink, gray wash, over graphite, on cream paper; framing lines in black ink.
7 x 5 1/4 inches (17.8 x 13.3 cm)
Bequest of John M. Thayer.
© Paul Cadmus / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

This is one of a group of studies for a 1940 painting depicting the Herrin Massacre, also known as the Lester Strip Mine Massacre, of 1922. A contract dispute in the town of Herrin, Illinois erupted into a violent confrontation in which twenty-three men, most of them company-hired strikebreakers, were killed by union members. Cadmus visited the site in 1939. Rather than locate the scene near the coal mine, he chose to set it in a cemetery. Although the painting was part of a commission from Life magazine to illustrate significant events, it was never published.


Signed in pen and brown ink at lower right, "Cadmus"; inscribed in graphite below image at lower left, "Herrin Massacre #2 / Originally delivered to Midtown 4/6/43 / returned to PC for reframing 30/VI/58".

Midtown Galleries, Inc., 11 March 1989; John M. Thayer, Wilmington, DE.
Artist page: