Known for breaking down natural shapes into geometric patterns of line and color, Kenneth Adams became the last and youngest member of the Taos Society of Artists. In contrast to the other members whose work was grounded in late 19th-Century academic principles, he was a contemporary realist, deeply influenced by Cubist experiments of the French artist, Cezanne and American modernist, Andrew Dasburg. Adams was a key figure in New Mexico art circles and bridged the "old guard" artists and new arrivals.
He was born in Topeka, Kansas in 1897, and began his studies at the age of sixteen with George M. Stone. He attended the Art Institute of Chicago after serving in World War I as a private. In 1919, he studied in New York at the Art Students League with Kenneth Hayes Miller and with Dasburg in Woodstock, New York.
After a period of study in France and Italy, he, having been encouraged by Dasburg, made his way to New Mexico and quickly became friends with Walter Ufer in Taos, where from 1926, he stayed for thirteen years. In 1927, he was elected to The Taos Society of Artists.
In 1938, he moved to Albuquerque because he was awarded a Carnegie Corporation Grant to become the first artist-in-residence at the University of New Mexico. He taught there for the next twenty-five years until 1963, becoming a full professor. In 1938, he was also elected an Associate Member of the National Academy of Design in New York and a full member in 1961.
Denver Art Museum, honorable mention for graphic arts, 1930; Philadelphia Print Club, honorable mention for lithography, 1932; Clark prize & honorable mention Corcoran Biennial, 1935; Second Prize, Midwestern Artists Exhibition, 1938; NY Worlds Fair, 1st prize, 1940.
Denver Art Museum; Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Whitney Museum of American Art; Dallas Museum of Fine Arts; Mulvane Art Museum; Honolulu Academy of Arts; Sandzén Memorial Art Gallery; Topeka Public Library; Anschutz Collection; Spencer Museum of Art.
Taos Society of Artists; National Academy of Design (Association 1938); Prairie Print Makers.