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Marta Adams papers, circa 1914-circa 1991

Adams, Marta, b. 1891 or 3 d. 1978
Painter, Sculptor, Author
Active in Boston, Mass.; Mexico

Collection size: 4.2 linear feet

Collection Summary: Biographical material, correspondence, writings, address book, scrapbooks, art works by Adams and others, printed material, and photographs.

Approximately one-half of the collection consists of frequent and detailed correspondence, 1929-1978, between Adams and her daughter Kay, the bulk written while Adams was living in Mexico and her daughter was living in Boston with Adams' sister-in-law, Kay F. Adams, in which each describes their daily activities. Marta discusses her art and exhibitions in many letters. There is also general correspondence, 1947-1978, with friends and patrons.

Writings by Adams include childrens stories and reminiscences. Two scrapbooks contain photographs, letters, and newspaper clippings. Art work consists of sketches, drawings, and an abstract watercolor by Adams, two portfolios, 30 Grabados de Galo Galecio,1946, containing 30 engraving prints by Galecio and Estampas de la Revolucion Mexicana, 1947, containing 85 engraving prints by 16 artists of the Taller de Gracia Popular (only 84 of 85 prints included in the portfolio). Also included is a signed engraving by Leopoldo Mendez, and 1 print each by Alfredo Zalce and Jose Guadalupe Posada. Printed material (1 ft., primarily in Spanish), 1940-1986, includes exhibition announcements, catalogs and clippings. Two photograph albums of family members, ca. 1920-1930's, and photographs and negatives of Adams, friends, family, works of art and illustrations for Adams' childrens' stories complete the collection.

Biographical/Historical Note: Painter, sculptor, writer; Boston, Mass. and Mexico. Born Marta Arnstem in Germany in 1891 or 1893, she emigrated to Massachusetts, ca. 1915, and married Edward Brinley Adams in 1916. Her husband died in 1922. She apprenticed with sculptor Hans Stangl in Munich during the winter of l925?. Animals were her favorite subject then, as they were for most of her life. In 1935, she made her first visit to Mexico, and subsequently spent more time there than in the United States. In Mexico she met Diego Rivera, who stimulated her interest in oil painting. In 1952 she moved to Mexico permanently. She exhibited with the Boris Mirski Gallery in Boston, and had numerous exhibitions in Mexico.

Donated in 1992 by the estate of the Katherine (Kay) A. Kulmala, Adams' daughter, through executor Jonathan Strong. A drawing of frogs, signed, and an abstract watercolor, unsigned, were donated in 1992 by Phyllis Hughes, a friend of Kulmala's, who purchased them at a benefit auction of Adams' art at the Concord Art Association, Concord, Massachusetts in March, 1991.

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Reading Room Reproduction