Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Biographical Sketch

Scope and Contents

Restrictions

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Description of Series

University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Richard Lee Adams:

An Inventory of His Collection at the Harry Ransom Center



Creator: Adams, Richard Lee, 1908-1965
Title: Richard Lee Adams Photography Collection
Dates: Circa 1900-2014 (bulk 1935-1945)
Abstract: The collection consists of 587 photographs, which are primarily portraits and snapshots of Richard Lee Adams' family but also include photographs of sculpture and furniture created by him. Additionally there is a small amount of genealogical information on the Adams family.
Call Number: Photography Collection PH-02632
Extent: 2 document boxes, 1 oversize box (2.436 linear feet)
Language: English
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center

Biographical Sketch

Richard Lee Adams was born on March 3, 1908, on his family’s farm in Killeen, Texas. After briefly attending Texas A & M University, Adams left Texas and eventually settled in New York City in 1931. Adams married Lucy Terrone in 1933. Together they had two children, Donovan Samuel, born in 1938, and Lucia Gay, born in 1942. The family variously lived in Forest Hills, Queens, and Brooklyn, New York. In 1938, Adams began working as a welder at the Brooklyn Navy Yard as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) employee. During World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, eventually joining a film production unit in California that made training films. After the war, Adams returned to New York City and joined Bachrach Studios as a portrait and wedding photographer. Adams died on January 20, 1965, in New York City.

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Scope and Contents

Five hundred and eighty-seven photographs, a small leather notebook, and a small group of manuscript materials, dating from circa 1900 to 2014, document the personal life of American photographer Richard Lee Adams. The photographs are primarily family portraits and snapshots taken by Adams between 1935 and 1945 in New York City and in Lubbock, Texas. Subjects include his wife, Lucy, and their children, Donovan and Lucia Gay; his parents; and extended family members. Other photographs are of artworks and furniture created by Adams during the 1950s and 1960s.

The collection is arranged in approximate chronological order and then by subject matter. Descriptions of all items were derived by the archivist from inscriptions on the photographs where available. The photographs are black-and-white unless otherwise noted in the descriptions. The collection contains duplicate prints and enlargements of some images. Adams’ Social Security card was removed from the collection.

Processing information

Photographs were removed from album pages due to preservation concerns. They are arranged in numerical order based on the numbers found on the image versos.

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Restrictions

Access:

Open for research.

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Index Terms

People
Adams, Donovan Samuel, 1938-2008.
Adams, Lucia Gay, 1942- .
Adams, Lucy Terrone.
Adams, Richard Lee, 1908-1965.
Subjects
New York (N.Y.)--Pictorial works.
Lubbock (Tex.)--Pictorial works.
Document Types
Chromogenic color prints.
Correspondence.
Gelatin silver prints.
Photographic prints.
Portrait photographs.
Snapshots.

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Administrative Information

Acquisition:

Gift of Lucia Adams, 2014 (14-12-012-G)

Processed by:

Deborah Marks, 2016

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Item List

Location
1.1 Photograph of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Tankersley, maternal grandparents of Richard Adams, Coryell County, Texas, circa 1900.
Location
1.2 Graduation portrait of Richard Adams, Hubbard (Texas) High School, 1926.
Location
1.3 Snapshot of Richard Adams, New York City, likely 1931-1932.
Location
1.4 Three photographs of Richard and Lucy Adams, New York City, circa 1935-1940.
Location
1.5 14 portraits and snapshots of Lucy Adams, including one color portrait, New York City, 1938-1942.
Location
1.6 Seven portraits and snapshots of Richard Adams, New York City, 1938-1940.
Location
1.7 20 photographs of Richard and Lucy Adams with their infant son, Donovan, in Central Park and at home in Forest Hills, New York City, 1938.
Location
1.8 29 portraits and snapshots of Donovan Adams as an infant, including one of him with his maternal uncle, Joseph Terrone, New York City, 1938.
Location
1.9 Seven contact sheets each with multiple images of Donovan Adams as an infant and as a toddler, alone and with his father or mother, New York City, 1938-1940.
Location
1.10 20 photographs of Donovan Adams as an infant and as a toddler, alone and with his father or mother, as well as two print fragments, New York City, 1939.
Location
1.11 15 portraits and snapshots of Donovan Adams, age one, alone and with his father or mother, New York City and Candlewood Lake, Connecticut, 1939.
Location
1.12 Three photographs of Donovan and Lucy Adams in Forest Park, New York City, 1939.
Location
1.13 Five photographs of Donovan, alone and with his maternal aunt, Marie Terrone, in the garden of his Brooklyn home, New York City, 1939.
Location
1.14 Five photographs of members of Lucy Adams’ family including her mother, Laura Terrone, sisters, Marie and Anne Terrone, and brother, Joseph Terrone, likely 1940-1942.
Location
1.15 30 portraits and snapshots of Donovan Adams as a toddler, alone and with his father or mother, New York City, as well as one photograph of Donovan with his mother, paternal aunts, and cousins, Lubbock, Texas, 1940.
Location
1.16 Five photographs of Donovan Adams, age three, including one color portrait and one color snapshot, New York City, 1941.
Location
1.17 Eight photographs, two of which are color, of Donovan Adams, age four, New York City, 1942.
Location
1.18 12 photographs, seven of which are color, of Lucia Gay Adams as an infant, alone and with her mother or brother, New York City, 1942.
Location
1.19 Four snapshots of Donovan and Lucia Gay Adams, together and with their mother, New York City, likely 1943.
Location
1.20 Six photographs of Donovan and Lucia Gay Adams in Fort Greene Park, New York City, 1943.
Location
1.21 11 photographs of Lucy Adams with her children on Mothers’ Day in the garden of their Brooklyn home, New York City, 1943.
Location
osb 1 Portrait of Lucy Adams with her children on Mothers’ Day in the garden of their Brooklyn home, New York City, 1943.
Location
1.22 24 portraits and snapshots of Lucia Gay Adams as an infant, New York City, 1943.
Location
1.23 Eight photographs of Adams family outing in Prospect Park: snapshots of Donovan and Lucia Gay, together and with their mother, as well as individual portraits of Richard and Lucy Adams, New York City, 1943.
Location
1.24 Two duplicate color portraits of Donovan Adams, New York City, likely 1943.
Location
2.1 22 photographs of family visit with relatives in Lubbock, Texas: portraits and snapshots of Donovan and Lucia Gay Adams with their cousins, paternal grandmother, Idella Tankersley Adams, their mother, and their paternal aunts and uncles, 1943.
Location
2.2 Seven photographs of Adams family home, Lubbock, Texas: Samuel L. Adams, father of Richard Adams, in his garden; images of Samuel L. Adams’ home exterior and interior; and Richard Adams self-portrait with camera, 1943.
Location
2.3 Four snapshots of Richard Adams, John Q. Adams, and members of John Q. Adams’ family at their farm, as well as Richard Adams with his brothers, John Q. and Samuel T. Adams, Lubbock, Texas, 1943.
Location
2.4 Four photographs of Donovan and Lucia Gay Adams with their maternal grandmother, Laura Terrone, maternal uncle, Nick Terrone, and mother, in the garden of their Brooklyn home, New York City, likely 1943-1944.
Location
osb 1 Three duplicate portraits of Donovan and Lucia Gay Adams, New York City, likely 1943-1944.
Location
2.5 Nine snapshots of Donovan and Lucia Gay Adams, New York City, 1944.
Location
2.6 12 snapshots of a family outing in Central Park: Lucy Adams with her children; Lucia Gay at the Central Park Zoo; and Donovan and Lucia Gay watching horse carts, New York City, 1944.
Location
2.7 Nine photographs of Donovan and Lucia Gay Adams with gifts and Christmas tree in their Brooklyn, home, New York City, 1944.
Location
2.8 Eight portraits, one of which is color, of Donovan and Lucia Gay Adams, New York City, 1944.
Location
2.9 Two snapshots of Lucy Adams with her children, Donovan and Lucia Gay, New York City, 1945.
Location
2.10 Snapshot of Samuel and Idella Adams with their children, Lubbock, Texas, 1945.
Location
2.11 Two photographs of Lucy Adams, Lucia Gay Adams, and unidentified friends in Canarsie, New York City, likely 1945-1946.
Location
2.12 Snapshot of Lucia Gay Adams with automobile designed and built by Richard Adams, New York City, 1957.
Location
2.13 Three photographs of family gathering at Samuel Adams’ home and undated portrait of Idella Adams, Lubbock, Texas, likely 1958.
Location
2.14 Snapshot of Lucia Gay and Richard Adams at Tavern on the Green, New York City, 1960.
Location
2.15 21 photographs, six of which are color, of furniture, sculptures, and a painting created by Richard Adams, New York City, circa 1950s-1960s.
Location
2.16 Two portraits of Richard Adams, Lubbock, Texas, 1964.
Location
2.17 120 photographs from an Adams’ family album which includes images (both unique and duplicates) of their son, Donovan, and family life, New York City and Candlewood Lake, Connecticut, 1938-1939.
Location
2.18 114 photographs from an Adams’ family album which includes images (both unique and duplicates) of their son, Donovan, and family life, New York City, 1939-1940.
Location
2.19 Richard Lee Adams’ notebook with handwritten notes on shops, restaurants and music, as well as his City of New York fishing permit, circa 1950-1960.
Location
2.20 Manuscript materials: correspondence to Lucia Gay Adams from her aunt, Mrs. J. D. Steakley; typed manuscript on the Adams family genealogy; copies of newspaper articles and photographs related to the family history, 1965, circa 1976, and 2014.

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