Charles Partridge Adams
Untitled (Sunset, Along the Front Range, Colorado)
circa 1900

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Original Watercolor on paper. Housed in a custom frame with archival materials and Museum Glass (UV Protection/Anti-reflective). Framed dimensions measure 14 ½ x 17 ½ x ¾ inches; image dimensions measure 7 ¾ x 11 inches.

Provenance: Estate of Charles Partridge Adams

About the artist:

Born in Franklin, Massachusetts, Charles Partridge Adams moved with his mother and two sisters to Denver, Colorado, in 1876 in an effort to cure the two girls who suffered from tuberculosis.

In Denver, Adams found work at the Chain and 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 couples 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 spent summers there every year.

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. He became a member of the Laguna Beach Artists Association and began painting marine subjects.

Exhibited: National Mining and Industrial Exhibition, 1884 Denver (gold); Denver Chain and Hardy Bookstore, 1886 (solo); National Academy of Design, 1890, 1896-1897; Chicago Art Institute, 1892, 1897, 1899, 1901; Artists' Club, 1894; Trans-Mississippi Exposition, Omaha, Nebraska, 1898; Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, 1901 (honorable mention); Interstate and West Indian Fair, Charleston, South Carolina, 1901-1902; Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis, 1904.

Works held: Denver Art Museum; Kansas City Art Association, Missouri; San Diego; University of Colorado, Boulder; University of Northern Colorado, Greeley; Women's Club, Denver.

Further Reading: The Art of Charles Partridge Adams, Dorothy Dines, Stephen J. Leonard, and Stanley L. Cuba, Fulcrum Publishing in cooperation with the Denver Public Library, Golden, Colorado, 1993.; Artists in California, 1786-1940, Edan Milton Hughes, Hughes Publishing, San Francisco, 1986.; Artists of the American West: A Biographical Dictionary, Vol. 1, Doris Ostrander Dawdy, Swallow Press, Chicago, 1980. 3 Vols.; The Illustrated Biographical Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West, Peggy and Harold Samuels, Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1976.; Who Was Who in American Art 1564-1975: 400 Years of Artists in America, Vol. I. Peter Hastings Falk, Georgia Kuchen and Veronica Roessler, eds.,Sound View Press, Madison, Connecticut, 1999. 3 Vols.

©David Cook Galleries, LLC


  • Condition
  • Dimensions
    14.5 in. H x 17.5 in. W x 0.75 in. D
  • Seller Location
    Denver, CO
  • Reference Number
About the Seller

1stdibs seller since 2013

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Located in Denver, CO

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