2009 Winter Catalog, William R. Talbot Fine Art, Antique Maps & Prints Home

2009 Winter Catalog > 6. Adams, “Arapaho Peaks, Vicinity of Boulder, Colorado.”

6. Charles Partridge Adams. “Arapaho Peaks, Vicinity of Boulder, Colorado,” [1899–1920]. Oil on canvas, 10 x 14." Gold leaf frame in period style: 15 1/2 x 19 1/2." Signed at l.l. Old label on verso from Kennedy Galleries, New York. Excellent.

Price: SOLD.

Charles Partridge Adams is considered Colorado’s premier landscape artist. While known as an Impressionist, Adams’ Colorado period paintings reflect his formative association with the styles of George Inness and other great American landscapists of the nineteenth century.

Arapaho Peaks is a classic example of Adams’ mature Colorado period, for which he is famous. Here, Adams paints the luminous and forceful face of the peaks, with the surrounding landscape acting as a mantle—the whole having the distinctive effect of portraiture. While his work from later periods continued to reflect a very personal relationship with the landscape, Adams’ style became more characteristically Impressionist from 1920 on, when he moved to California.

Charles Partridge Adams (1858–1942) was born in Massachusetts and moved with his family to Denver, Colorado in 1876. There he found work at the Chain and Hardy Bookstore, which served as an exhibition venue for local artists. The wife of one of the bookshop’s owners was the artist Helen Chain, who had studied with George Inness. In 1877, she opened her studio to students and among them was Charles Partridge Adams.

Adams traveled east in 1885 to visit the studios of George Inness and Worthington Whittredge. He followed this with a trip to California where he visited the studios of William Keith and Thomas Hill. By 1893, Adams had established a studio in Denver and for a time offered crayon portraits and landscapes in watercolor as well as oil. Eventually, he built a home and studio in Estes Park and called it “The Sketch Box.” His work was popular among visitors and was also recognized by important institutions, with exhibitions at the National Academy of Design and the Chicago Art Institute. Adams’ works were sold through galleries in Chicago and Kansas City, as well as in various locations in Colorado. In this same period, the artist made extensive painting trips throughout the Rocky Mountains and beyond, continuing to explore his favorite subject of mountain landscapes.

After suffering a near-fatal illness, Adams moved to California in 1920, establishing homes in both Pasadena and Laguna Beach. While his new market required that he focus on California landscape, he would occasionally create a painting from memory of his beloved Rocky Mountains.

Charles Partridge Adams’ paintings are held in a number of important permanent collections including the Colorado Historical Society, the Colorado Springs Museum, the Denver Art Museum, the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, the Phoenix Art Museum, the Portland Museum, the San Diego Museum of Art, and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts.

Ref.: Dines, Leonard, and Cuba, The Art of Charles Partridge Adams (1993).

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