A painter, printmaker and historian, Clinton Adams was born in Glendale, California in 1918. He studied at the University of California, Los Angeles. Following military service during WWII (1942-1946), he held academic positions at U.C.L.A., University of Kentucky, University of Florida, and the University of New Mexico where he served as dean of the College of Fine Arts (1961-1976). He retired from teaching in 1985 to devote full time to painting and writing.
Adams began working in lithography in 1948. He participated with June Wayne in the founding of the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in 1960. When Tamarind moved to Albuquerque in 1970 (becoming Tamarind Institute), he became its director (1970-1985). He established “The Tamarind Papers: A Journal of the Fine Print” in 1974 and served as its director from 1974 to 1990.
A frequent lecturer and participant in symposia, Adams was the author of more than one hundred articles, relating principally to the history of lithography. He is co- author (with Garo Antreasian) of “The Tamarind Book of Lithography: Art and Techniques” (Abrams, 1972), the standard work in the field. His book, “American Lithographers 1900- 1960: The Artists and Their Printers”(1983), was praised as “definitive” by the New York Times. His other books are “Printmaking in New Mexico: 1880-1990” (1991); “Crayonstone: The Life and Work of Bolton Brown” (1993); “Second Impressions: Modern Prints and Printmakers Reconsidered” (editor, 1996); and “Nineteenth Century Lithography in Europe” (1998).
In 1985 Adams received the Governor’s Award for “Outstanding Contributions to the Arts of New Mexico.” He was elected Academician by the National Academy in 1993 and given the “Printmaker-Emeritus Award” by the Southern Graphics Council in 1998. Biographical sketches of Adam’s career appear in the Dictionary of Art (Grove- Macmillan, 1997) and “A Spectrum of Innovation: Color in American Printmaking 1890-1960” (Norton, 1990). He is also listed in “Who’s Who in America” and “Who’s Who in American Art”.
Adams exhibited his work in more than sixty solo exhibitions, principally in California and the West. An archive collection of his work has been established at the University of New Mexico Art Museum in Albuquerque. His most recent solo exhibitions were at the U.N.M. Art Museum (1987, paintings; 1998, lithographs); California State University, Northridge (1988); Janus Gallery, Santa Fe (1989); Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque (1997); Tobey C. Moss Gallery, Los Angeles (1989, 1991, 1994, 1997, and 1999); Albuquerque Museum (1997); Kennedy Museum of American Art, Athens, Ohio (1998); and Long Beach Museum of Art (1999).