"The Song of Higher Arthur." Illustration to accompany Cushing's poem of the same name, published in Life Magazine, Volume 58, page 1092, 1911. Pen and ink on illustration board. 520x695 mm; 20 1/2x27 1/2 inches. Signed "Otho Cushing" lower left image. Poem typed on small strip of partially cropped paper, mounted to upper right corner of verso.
Though an accomplished illustrator, cartoonist, and poster artist who studied and taught in the U.S. and abroad, there exists little biographical coverage of Cushing, much as a result of his heirs destroying evidence of his sexuality. Most prolific at the turn of the century when commercial illustration hit its stride in magazines and newspapers, he was influenced by his contemporaries J.C. Leyendecker, Aubrey Beardsley and his admittedly favorite illustrator, Lord Frederic Leighton. Art historians have remarked that across his body of work, a clear homoeroticism can be detected in the proportions and the haughty attitude of his young male subjects, evidenced here by the dance's onlookers.