Museum Highlight

Gilbert Adams

Best known as a photographer, The Cotswolds from Park Leys by Gilbert Adams reminds us that artists can work in a variety of mediums, some as a way to earn a living others perhaps just for pleasure. [Highlighted: May 2017]

The Cotswolds from Park Leys
by Gilbert Adams (1906–1996)

Oil on canvas
42cm x 33cm
Date: 1958

RGA member: 1934–1996 (Life member 1984)

Reading Museum Accession Number

This work was exhibited at the RGA 28th Annual Exhibition at the Museum and Art Gallery Reading 3rd May – 31st May 1958. Gilbert Adams was a long-standing and active member of the RGA from the very early days and exhibiting right up to and including 1995, the year before his death. Gilbert was part of a family of artists and photographers based in Reading. Son of Marcus Adams (internationally famous children’s photographer and artist), who was the son of Walton Adams (photographer and inventor). Marcus and his brother Christopher were also members of the RGA. Gilbert’s wife Thelma Mason was also an artist and a member of the RGA.

Gilbert Adams served on the RGA Council several times over many years, chairing a social committee and even supporting RGA activities by lending his studio at 22 Market Place for drawing and painting from a model: “Being young and quite dedicated to the Guild by the time War broke out in 1939, I recollect the sense of and urgent need to keep the RGA going”. He won the Marie Dyson Award in 1970 and 1987.

He wrote in 1980 on reflections about the early days of the RGA “It seemed a happy group imbued with a great desire to raise the standards of work both in its part-time and in its professional members”. Words that still reflect the RGA today!

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