Steffy Adams 1912

Full-length portrait in seated position on a blue-red armchair with woven seat; legs crossed, her right hand rests on her chin, her left hand rests on armrest. She wears a blue-gray velvet dress with white blouse and black belt, on the head a black wide-brimmed hat. Living interior represented by a golden brocade curtain behind the sitter and an armchair in the left background of the picture.

JQAW# P_1912_010
Oil on canvas 174 x 141 cm
Signature: John Quincy Ɑdams. 1912
Private collection Austria.

Stefanie Adams, wife of the artist, née Sobotka, 18.9.1881 Vienna to 21.6.1952 Salzburg Aigen.
Married 25.3.1901 to John Quincy Adams (marriage separated 1919, divorced 1920). 1921 remarried to Willy von Gutmann (1889-1966), but marriage dissolved before 1924. Residence at Schloss Würting until 1938, then racially persecuted, she survives in Belgium in hiding. After the war she returned to Austria and lived with her daughter Harriet Walderdorff, Salzburg, until her death. For biographical details, see the entry "The artists' family".

The present single portrait from 1912 is the second that Adams made of his wife. The first portrait was painted in 1905/06 and was purchased for the state collections (Belvedere Vienna, disappeared in 1945, since then lost), the 1912 portrait remained in the artist's possession. Comparing the two portraits, the 1912 portrait depicts Stefanie Adams not only as a beauty, but also as a person of serious, thoughtful character, which (according to family history) probably corresponded to her nature. The gray-blue shade of the dress is very subtle and changes with available light from gray (studio shots with professional lighting) to blue (living situation, photo kindly provided by the owner, see cross-references). The picture was given from the Adams estate to the Künstlerhaus Vienna in 1948, where it was restored by Leopold Schmid and Sepp Mayerhuber. Sold by Künstlerhaus at a Dorotheum auction in 1992 (along with two other Adams paintings from its collections). Since then in a private collection, Austria.


1912 Künsterhaus Vienna (EL 57 1912/13 # 2606).

1915 Panama-Pacific International Exhibition San Francisco, Palace of Fine Arts International Section #1
(P.P.I.E. Gold Medal).

1986 Academy Schillerplatz Vienna 1986, Viennese Society in Portrait, Catalog No. 25.


Schaffer/Eisenburger 1986, exhibition catalog #25 (w. B/W ill.)

APH, catalog raisonné JQA 1995, p. 106, cat.#74, ill.#53.


Estate of the artist.
His daughter Harriet Walderdorff.
1948 Gift to Künstlerhaus Vienna (restoration d. Leopold Schmid and Sepp Mayerhuber).
1992 Dorotheum Vienna auction 25.11.1992 Lot 443. Private collection Austria.