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Herbert Adams (1858-1945)

Professions: Painter

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  • HERBERT SIDNEY BRITISH, 1855/58-1923 THE SLAVE signed and dated Herbert Sidney 1909 (lower left) oil...

  • HERBERT SIDNEY, BRITISH 1855/58-1923

  • Herbert Sidney (London 1858-1923)

  • Sidney Herbert (British, 1854-1914)

Herbert Adams Biography

Herbert Adams (b. West Concord, Vermont January 28, 1858- d. New York City, May 21, 1945). As an eighteen year old, was educated at the Massachusetts Normal School .
Went to Paris in 1885 where he became a pupil of Antonin Marcié and studied at the École des Beaux-Arts until 1890. Adams developed a dynamic new manner of Parisian modeling like that introduced to America by Augustus Saint-Gaudens in the 1870s.
Between 1890-98 Herbert Adams taught in Brooklyn, NY. At the art school of Pratt Institute. Unlike Saint-Gaudens, Adams lightened the appearance of sculpture by eliminating deep undercutting and their resulting dark shadows. He was strongly influenced by the study of 15th century Italian Renaissance relief sculpture. He produced exquisite relief panels himself on two bronze doors representing Truth and Research for the Library of Congress, Washington D.C. He also created the Vanderbuilt Memorial bronze doors of St. Bartholomew’s Church, New York (1898-1905). Italianate polychrome sculpture also inspired him to apply color in muted tints and shades to marble (eg. La Jeunesse of 1893 in the Metropolitan Museum). He was a highly respected member of the National Sculpture Society and vice-president of the National Academy of Design, New York. His works grace many American museums and public spaces. A monument to William Ellery Channing was made by Adams in 1902 and placed at the Arlington and Boylston Street corner of the Boston Public Garden, Boston, MA. His sculpture depicting women are particularly sensitive. One small bronze entitled “Debutante” of 1914 is in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He was a leading figure in American sculpture throughout his lifetime.

The National Sculpture Society gave credit to Herbert Adams by creating an award in his name : “The Herbert Adams Memorial Award” presented from time to time to significant American sculptors in recognition of their lifetime of achievements “For The Advancement of Sculpture”.

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