[ Neville Chamberlain, Prime Minister. ] Two prints of portrait photographs by royal photographer Marcus Adams, with a pencil study from one of them by Adams on the reverse.

Marcus Adams (), royal photographer [ Neville Chamberlain [ Arthur Neville Chamberlain ] (1869-1940), British Conservative Prime Minister ]
Publication details: 
Without place or date. (Late 1930s.)
SKU: 22179

Neither print is ascribed, but in an unpublished typescript in the Adams Papers, Rosalind Thuillier (author of a 1985 monograph on Adams) quotes her husband Gilbert Adams (Marcus's son) as follows: 'Another phase of his activities as a photographer was into a device called "photo sculpture". [...] At the time of Munich he went round to the photo-sculpture's studio, and I accompanied him, to photograph Neville Chamberlain. Neville Chamberlain was photographed in this way and some many hundreds of these casts were made of him. We have one here.' The two black and white prints, both 25 x 18.5 cm, are both creased and worn, with loss to one corner caused by damp. The two images are head and shoulders shots. Both were taken at the same sitting, with the subject in his habitual wing-collared shirt and formal attire. The first shows a silver-haired Chamberlain in profile, while the second has him staring into the camera.The items are from the Marcus Adams papers, and further interest derives from the 20 x 12 cm pencil study, unsigned but clearly by Adams, made from the photograph of Chamberlain staring into the camera, and drawn on the back of the photograph of Chamberlain in profile. Adams (who trained as an artist in Reading and Paris) has rendered the image in a more angular and geometric way, with Chamberlain's weak gaze rendered as determined. The drawing has a some damp damage at the corner. As a children's photographer, Adams is unlikely to be responsible for the two photographs: his partner Bertram Park is a more likely candidate. The images are not in the National Portrait Gallery, but are similar to those of Chamberlain by Bassano present in the NPG collection.