Editor's note: The Sangre de Cristo Arts & Conference Center provided source material to Resource Library for the following article or essay. If you have questions or comments regarding the source material, please contact the Sangre de Cristo Arts & Conference Center directly through either this phone number or web address:
Charles Partridge Adams from the Andreas, Hill, & Loo Collections
November 11, 2006 - January 27, 2007
Famous for painting mountain scenes with dramatic stormy skies of brilliant sunlight, Charles Partridge Adams (1858-1942) is considered to have been Colorado's finest landscape painter. He was particularly skilled at catching the fleeting yet dynamic light associated with Colorado sunrises and sunsets. Like most fine artists, Adams was keenly observant and sensitive to his subject: noticing the way a strong wind turns up the silvery underside of willow leaves, how the morning sun would shine on an October snow and how the lower branches of young cottonwood trees bend down toward the ground. (right: Charles Partridge Adams, Pikes Peak)
Adams moved to Denver, Colorado at 18. Upon settling in Denver, he found work at the Chain & Hardy bookstore. He received his first, and only art training from the owner's wife, Helen Chain. Mrs. Chain, a former pupil of George Inness, provided instruction and encouragement to the young artist and introduced him to other artists in the area including Alexander Phimister Proctor.
Proctor and Adams developed a friendship, and the pair embarked on a three-month camping trip in Egeria Park, Colorado. In addition to exploring, both artists did quite a bit of sketching on the trip. After their return to Denver, Adams and Proctor shared a studio for a short period of time before Proctor moved to New York. Adams remained in Denver and after a short stint as an art teacher, he studied wood engraving with Major J.M. Bagley. He quickly abandoned the engraving for health reasons and began working in crayon.
His business card read "Landscapes and Crayon Portraits," though he much preferred landscapes. The artist soon made a name for himself in Denver. He established a wealthy clientele that purchased a number of his paintings to decorate their homes and to give as Christmas gifts.
In 1890, Adams married Alida Joslin Reynolds and the couple honeymooned in Estes Park, Colorado. That same year, he exhibited for the first time at the National Academy of Design. Three years later, the artist opened his first studio on Larimer Street in Denver. He began working in watercolor and had success in the new medium selling his paintings in stores in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Kansas City, and Chicago. Also in 1893, Adams became a charter member of the Denver Artists Club.
In 1905, the couple's dream of living in Estes Park was realized when Adams completed construction on a home and studio there. Adams referred to the studio as "The Sketch Box" and the family summered there every year.(left: Charles Partridge Adams, Mount Aeolus & Las Animas Canyon)
Though Adams is best known for his Colorado landscapes, he also painted in Yellowstone, the Tetons, the Canadian Rockies, the New Mexican Desert, and California. In 1914, the couple sailed to Europe where they spent five months touring. Three years later, Charles suffered from a near-fatal illness.
In 1920, Adams moved to California where he opened a studio first in Pasadena and later in Laguna Beach where he remained until his death. He became a member of the Laguna Beach Art Association and began painting marine subjects.
During his lifetime he completed several thousand paintings, but he did not document his paintings so the actual number he created is unknown. Examples of his work can be found in Colorado at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the Denver Museum, and the Denver Art Association, as well as among numerous private collectors. It is also at the San Diego Woman's Club.
Sangre de Cristo Arts & Conference Center expresses thanks Steve & Connie Andreas, Lyda Hill and Kathy Loo who have loaned Adams' works from their private collections to augment those of the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center. The exhibit is on display in the Hoag Gallery.
Checklist for the exhibition
Editor's note: RL readers may also enjoy:
Read more articles and essays concerning this institutional source by visiting the sub-index page for the Sangre de Cristo Arts & Conference Center in Resource Library.
Visit the Table of Contents for Resource Library for thousands of articles and essays on American art.
© Copyright 2006 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.