Professor Henry Adams was recently singled out by Art News as one of the foremost experts in the American field. A graduate of Harvard University, he received his M.A. and Ph.D from Yale where he received the Frances Blanshard Prize for the best doctoral dissertation in art history. In 1985 he received the Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize of the College Art Association, the first time this had been awarded to an Americanist or a Museum Curator. In 1989 William Jewell College awarded him its distinguished service medal for his services to Kansas City and the Midwest. In 2001 he received the Northern Ohio Live Visual Arts Award for the best art exhibition of the year in Northern Ohio.
Dr. Adams has produced over 200 publications, including scholarly and popular articles, books, catalogues, and exhibitions catalogues. These focus principally on American artists of the 19th and early 20th century and include pieces on George Caleb Bingham, Thomas Cole, John F. Kensett, John La Farge, William Morris Hunt, Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, George Bellows, Charles Burchfield, Thomas Hart Benton, Fairfield Porter, and David Hockney. His books include John La Farge, 1987, Thomas Hart Benton: An American Original, 1989, Thomas Hart Benton: Drawing from Life, 1990, Albert Bloch: The American Blue Rider, 1997, Viktor Schreckengost and 20th-Century Design, 2000, Eakins Revealed, 2005, and Andrew Wyeth: Master Drawings from the Artist's Collection, 2006.
Dr. Adams has served as curator of Fine Arts at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, as curator of American Art at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, as Curator of American Art at the Cleveland Museum of Art, as director of the Cummer Museum of Art in Jacksonville, FL, and as interim director of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and Design in Kansas City. He has also taught at the University of Illinois, the University of Pittsburgh, Colorado College, The University of Kansas, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He currently serves as Professor of American Art at Case Western Reserve University.
In 1989, in partnership with film maker Ken Burns, Dr. Adams produced a documentary on Thomas Hart Benton which was broadcast nationally on PBS to an audience of 20 million. His book on Thomas Hart Benton will be read from, and featured as a prop, in the forthcoming movie Prison Song, featuring Q-tip.
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