Kenneth M. Adams

born Topeka, KS 1897-died Albuquerque, NM 1966
Media - J0087047_1b.jpg - 87572
Kenneth M. Adams, © Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum J0087047
Also known as
  • Kenneth Miller Adams
  • Kenneth Adams
Topeka, Kansas, United States
Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Active in
  • Taos, New Mexico, United States
  • American
Kenneth Adams grew up the youngest of five children and spent his time copying pictures from books in the public library. After art school and military duty, he moved to Taos, New Mexico, where he opened a studio and joined the Taos Society of Artists, a group of painters from Chicago and New York in search of an “authentic” America. Adams became an Associate of the National Academy of Design by the time he was twenty eight and worked for the Federal Art Project in the 1930s. Over the course of his career he completed murals in Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico and held teaching positions at several schools. (Coke, Kenneth M. Adams: A Retrospective Exhibition, 1964)

Related Books

1934: A New Deal for Artists
During the Great Depression, president Franklin Delano Roosevelt promised a “new deal for the American people,” initiating government programs to foster economic recovery. Roosevelt’s pledge to help “the forgotten man” also embraced America’s artists. The Public Works of Art Project (PWAP) enlisted artists to capture “the American Scene” in works of art that would embellish public buildings across the country. Although it lasted less than one year, from December 1933 to June 1934, the PWAP provided employment for thousands of artists, giving them an important role in the country’s recovery. Their legacy, captured in more than fifteen thousand artworks, helped “the American Scene” become America seen.