Norman Adams studied at Harrow School of Art between 1940 and 1946 and
subsequently at the Royal College of Art from 1948 to 1951 where he
was awarded the Bronze Medal for Painting. He began teaching in the
1950s when he taught part-time at St Alban's Art School later becoming
Head of Painting at Manchester College of Art from 1962 to 1970, and
later visiting tutor at Leeds University from 1973 to 1976 and Professor
of Painting at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne from 1981 to 1986.
He was elected Keeper of the Royal Academy in 1986 and was appointed
the Academy's Professor of Painting Emeritus in 1995.
Adams’s first solo exhibition was held in 1952 at Gimpel Fils
in London and biennial one-man shows were subsequently held from 1953
at Roland, Browse and Delbanco. In 1953 he designed the stage set and
costumes for 'A Mirror of Witches' produced by the Royal Ballet at Covent
Garden, and again for the Sadler's Wells production of Saudades in 1955.
A number of important commissions have played a large part in Adams’s
career, his first being the painting of a mural for Broad Lane Comprehensive
School, Coventry in 1954. In 1967 he was commissioned by the Oxford
University Press to illustrate parts of the Old Testament. He went on
to paint murals for St Anselm’s Church, Kennington, London in
1971 and to make 14 ceramic panels of the Stations of the Cross for
the Roman Catholic Church at Coffee Hall in Milton Keynes in 1975. More
recently, in 1994 Adams received another commission for the Fourteen
Stations of the Cross,
this time in oils, for St Mary’s Church, Mulberry Street, Manchester.
These were installed in November 1995 having first been exhibited in
the Sackler Galleries at the Royal Academy.
A retrospective of Adams’s work was held in the Diploma Galleries
at the Royal Academy in 1988.
Numerous public collectionshold examples of his work including: Abbot
Hall, Kendal, Aberdeen City Art Gallery, Carlisle City Art Gallery,
Cartwright Hall, Bradford, Edinburgh Museum of Modern Art, Gulbenkian
Foundation, Lisbon, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle, Leeds City Art Gallery,
Leeds University, Southampton City Art Gallery, St Martins College,
Lancaster, Tate Gallery, London and Wakefield City Art Gallery.
Soldiers with Jesus's clothing
signed and dated 'NA-75' (lower right); further signed, dated and titled (lower left),
watercolour over pencil on paper
29 x 34.5cm (11 7/16 x 13 9/16in).
Provenance: Roland, Browse & Delbanco, London
The present work is the finished watercolour study for the ceramic tile 'Jesus is stripped of his garments' for the 1975 ceramic Stations of the Cross for The Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, Milton Keynes.