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 Herbert Samuel Adams  (1858 - 1945)

About: Herbert Samuel Adams


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Lived/Active: New York/New Hampshire      Known for: marble portrait sculpture, medallic art

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BIOGRAPHY for Herbert Adams
1858 (Concord, Vermon)
1945 (New York City)

New York/New Hampshire

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marble portrait sculpture, medallic art

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Cornish Colony
San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A leading sculptor of the Renaissance Revival movement, Herbert Adams was born in Concord, Vermont at a time when American sculptors were turning away from antiquities to modern subjects and methods.

He studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a student at the Ecole des Beaux Arts* in Paris during the period when American artists were turning away from copying antiquities to more creative, lively surface modeling.  He earned honorable mentions in the Paris Salon* of 1888 and 1889 as well as many other medals at American expositions and exhibitions.  He was a member of the National Academy of Design*, which he also served as President.

He did numerous frontal busts of attractive women in vaguely historical costumes, suggesting Renaissance* styles, and often his model was his beautiful wife, Adeline Pond Adams whom he married in 1899.  The couple were married for 56 years.  She became a well-known art writer and became an authority on the history of sculpture, evidenced by her book The Spirit of American Sculpture, published in 1923.  It is said that she inspired him to do the marble sculptures that made him famous, and his bust of Adeline won him much praise at the Paris Salon* of 1888.

Some of his works were polychromed*.  A prestigious public commission was a set of bronze doors for St. Bartholomew's in New York City. During World War I, he supported the efforts of the New York Camouflage Society including Cornish Colony member, Barry Faulkner, and in 1918 designed the aviator badge for the Army Air Forces.

The couple were a part of the Cornish Colony of Artists* in Cornish, New Hampshire, and they lived nearby at Plainfield on 105 acres of land.

Virginia Reed Colby and James B. Atkinson, Footprints of the Past
Roy R. Behrens, Camoupedia

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at

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