Wayman Adams

Dark Toned Impressionist Style Portrait of an Elderly Texas Couple 20th Century





Lovely portrait of an elderly Austin couple sitting in a dark toned interior. This work is done in the same loose brushwork style that Wayman Adams is famous for in his portraiture. This painting came out of the artist's Austin estate when he passed away. The piece is signed in the lower left corner and comes in the gold frame.

Artist Biography

Wayman Adams was born in rural Indiana in 1883. His interest in art was cultivated at an early age by his father who was a horse farmer and an amateur artist. At the age of twenty-one Adams moved to Indianapolis to attend the John Herron Art Institute. It was here that Adams began to paint portraits, the subject matter for which he became best known. Having made a name for himself as a portraitist, Adams moved to New York City. While there he took two trips to Europe, the first in 1910 when he traveled to Italy with William Merritt Chase. Two years later he accompanied Robert Henri to Spain where he met fellow artist Margaret Borroughs, whom he married six years later. The couple had one child, a son named Wayman Jr. who was called "Snig." Approaching the canvas, Adams favored the alla prima style of painting that he learned from Chase and Henri. He would paint an entire portrait in one sitting, often only for three to four hours long, rather than over the span of several drafts and sittings. This loose and expressive style of painting gave his images an emotional immediacy, and made the portrait-painting experience more pleasant for the sitter. He became well known as a "lightning" artist and painted many prominent figures such as Presidents Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover, tire tycoon B.F. Goodrich, and golfer Bobby Jones. As a portrait artist, Adams traveled throughout the country to fulfill commissions. This was not unusual for portraitists as they relied on wealthy patrons who could afford to commission paintings of themselves and their families. During the winter months, Adams spent a good deal of time in the South, especially in New Orleans. In addition to being a prolific portrait artist, Adams was also a teacher. In 1932 he and Margaret opened and taught at the Old Mill Art Colony in the Adirondack Mountains, and from 1935-36 he taught art in Taxco, Mexico. Adams also acted as a mentor to young Maltby Sykes, an artist he meet when working in Birmingham, Alabama. The two artists remained in contact for many years, and Adams offered Sykes his instruction and guidance at his art schools in both upstate New York and Mexico. In 1948, Adams left the cold of New York State and retired to his wife's hometown of Austin, Texas. He remained active in the city's artistic circles until his death in September 1959. His work is now featured in the collections of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the San Antonio Museum of Art.

Dimensions With Frame

H 53.5 in. x W 41.25 in. x D 1.5 in.

Dimensions Without Frame

H 52.25 in. x W 40 in.
Dark Toned Impressionist Style Portrait of an Elderly Texas Couple 20th Century