Painter's wife and daughter Gladys 1902

Half portrait of a mother (Adam's wife Stefanie) changing her baby (Adam's daughter Gladys). Mother in side view, facing the baby, holding it in her hands. Hair pinned up, wearing a pink house dress with butterfly motifs, chest and shoulder hem bordered by a pink tulle hem. Baby with short dark hair and sitting naked on a table, held by mother, lower part of body covered by a white diaper. In the background a white closed double door with brass fittings.

Pastel, rondo DM 95 cm
Signature: John Q Ɑdams 902
Private collection Austria.

This intimate mother and child pastel depicts Adam's wife, Stefanie Adams (1881-1952) with their first daughter Gladys (1902-1932) and captures a moment of loving attention from the young mother to her first born baby.

Brief biography of the depicted:
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), marriage dissolved again 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.
Marion Gladys Adams: first-born daughter of the artist, 7.6.1902 Vienna until 31.7.1932 (tragic death in a car accident). After the divorce of her parents in 1919/1920, she lives with her mother at Schloss Würting, where she redesigns the park. On 10.10.1925 marriage to Karl August Frank (1904-1964), with whom she has two daughters, (Anna Christina) Barbara Frank (1927 Vienna to 1993 USA), and (Auguste) Nina (Verena) Frank (1931 Vienna to 2010 Belgium), who suffers from trisomy 21. On July 31, 1932, Gladys Frank, together with her sister Harriet Adams and an acquaintance, the musicologist Dr. Felix Salzer, went on an excursion from Schloss Würting to the Salzkammergut. The car has an accident due to a tire blowout. Gladys Frank, née Adams, is killed instantly, her sister Harriet and Dr. Salzer survive seriously injured. The orphans are taken care of by the widower and grandmother Stefanie Adams after the accident, but the Frank family has to leave Austria with the children in 1938 because of racial persecution. For further biographical details see the entry "The family of the artists".

Cross-references

Family portrait 1908

Exhibited

1903 Künsterhaus Vienna (EL 46 1903 #343 as Malers Frau und Kind).
1904/05 Künsterhaus Vienna (EL 48 1904/05 #679 as Gladys).
1986 Academy Schillerplatz Vienna 1986, Viennese Society in Portrait, Catalog No. 6.

Literature

Schaffer/Eisenburger 1986, exhibition catalog #6 (w. color ill.).

APH, catalog raisonné JQA 1995, p. 44, cat.#13, fig.#7.

Provenance

Estate of the artist.
August and Hedwig Frank (widower of Gladys Frank, née Adams, and his 2nd wife). Family descendants from first marriage of Hedwig Frank. Private collection Austria.

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