Newcomb Art School Newcomb Art School
(Indiana, 1883 - 1959, Austin, TX)
Born in rural Indiana, Wayman Elbridge Adams’ interest in art was encouraged from an early age. He attended the John Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis, where he began to paint portraits. Adams eventually relocated to New York City and took two trips to Europe with fellow artists William Merritt Chase and Robert Henri. Adams favored the alla prima style of painting modeled by Chase and Henri; he would paint an entire portrait all at once, often in a few hours, rather than creating numerous drafts. This created a loose, expressive style, infused with emotion and interiority. He painted many prominent figures, including US Presidents, business tycoon, and athletes. Adams traveled the country to fulfill commission for wealthy patrons, but routinely spent winters in the South, particularly New Orleans.
A member of the National Academy of Design, Adams was also a teacher. In 1932, he and his wife, Margaret, opened and taught at the Old Mill Art Colony in New York’s Adirondack Mountains; from 1935–1936, he taught in Taxco, Mexico. Adams’ work is represented in the collections of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, and San Antonio Museum of Art.
--excerpt from the Johnson Collection