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Telephone: 0131 226 6932 or 0845 388 5879
46 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 3NH, Scotland (TSOH)

Biography and current catalogue for

Patrick William Adam RSA (1854-1929) 

Adam was born in Edinburgh and studied at Edinburgh Academy and then in London before returning to Edinburgh to complete his formal studies at the RSA schools. He studied under George Paul Chalmers and William McTaggart, before embarking on a career as a portraitist and painter of interiors, the work for which he became most famous. He was awarded the Maclaine-Watters medal for best painting from life.

He travelled abroad extensively and worked in Rome, Venice and Russia. He painted a notable series of views of Venice during his visit there in 1894 and later composed a group of winter landscapes. Usually he worked in oil or pastel, though also occasionally in watercolour.

He settled in North Berwick in 1908 and spent the rest of his life there recording the interiors of local society households, capturing well "the daintiness and charm of ladies and children and their surroundings" though with a tendency, so Caw continues, "to be a trifle sentimental". Elected RSA 1897, his watercolours have a delicacy not found in his other works, reflecting his studies under Chalmers and McTaggart.


Adam died at North Berwick on 27th December 1929, aged 75.