Guide to the Collection
This collection consists of watercolors and sketches made by Henry Adams during his travels to the South Seas (1890-1891); South Carolina, Cuba, and the Rocky Mountains (1894); and the West Indies (1895).
Henry Adams was the son of Charles Francis Adams (1807-1886) and Abigail Brooks Adams (1808-1889) and the grandson and great-grandson of presidents John Quincy Adams and John Adams. Henry worked as a journalist, professor, historian, and political observer and traveled extensively throughout his life, spending time in Europe, Egypt, Japan, Cuba, and the South Seas. He had a strong interest in art and artists and created his own photographs and watercolors. Adams married Marian "Clover" Hooper in 1872, and she died in 1885. Henry continued his travels until his own death in Washington, D.C. in 1918.
Adams, Henry. The Letters of Henry Adams, vol. 3-4. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1982-1988.
Chalfant, Edward. Improvement of the World: A Biography of Henry Adams. His Last Life 1891-1918. North Haven, Conn.: Archon Books, 2001.
Georgini, Sara. "A Midwinter's Tale." http://www.masshist.org/beehiveblog/2018/01/a-midwinters-tale/
Scheyer, Ernst. The Circle of Henry Adams: Art & Artists. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1970.
This collection consists of watercolors painted by Henry Adams during his travels to the South Seas (1890-1891); South Carolina, Cuba, and the Rocky Mountains (1894); and the West Indies (1895). The collection also includes a watercolor by Dora Norton Williams; a lithograph depicting the mansion house at Acton Park, Wrexham, England; and a photomechanical reproduction of Henry Adams's sketch of his dogs. Most of the images were originally in a scrapbook which was disbound in 1989.
The majority of the watercolors were removed from the Henry Adams papers, which were a bequest of Henry Adams, 1919. The Acton Park lithograph (item #45) was a gift of Mrs. Ward Thoron, 1957. "Looking through Tati's house" (item #46) was received Aug. 2013.
Detailed Description of the Collection
Watercolor of a lean-to set under a tree. Titled in graphite above signature. Note on verso in Henry Adams's hand: "Found in the wreck of R. L. Stevenson's house at Apia and brought away by Speck von Sternburg [Bel] was Mrs. Strong."
Lithograph of the mansion house at Acton Park. Note in Henry Adams's hand on mat: "Acton Park near Wrexham. Sir Robt. A. Cunliffe."
Henry Adams watercolors and sketches, Massachusetts Historical Society.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.