January 28, 2019

The Adam Family

The Scottish Architects Who Changed the World

with Curt DiCamillo

The Union League of Philadelphia
140 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

ICAA Member: $20 | General Public: $25 | Student: $15

The Adam brothers reigned supreme in Britain for most of the last half of the 18th century as the ultimate arbiters of taste and style. They designed everything from country houses and London townhouses to theaters, bridges, and government buildings. Sons of William Adam, Sr., the foremost Scottish architect of his time, the brothers transformed the direction of architecture and design across the western world. There was Robert, supreme architect and the most famous and talented of the brothers; James, an architect, furniture designer, and scholar; William Jr., a landscape designer; and John, the business manager of the brothers’ architectural firm. The Adam brothers were the first to fully and successfully integrate architecture and interiors. They designed curved walls, domed rooms, and elaborate plasterwork that perfectly meshed with fireplaces, furniture, fixtures, ironwork, carpets, and textiles into a uniform and harmonious whole. Partners like Josiah Wedgwood, Thomas Chippendale, and Matthew Boulton provided the icing on the Neoclassical cake, all brilliantly topped off with colors that had seldom been seen in European interiors: bright sky blue, intense pink, soft lilac, pea green, and the red-brown terracotta of Etruscan vases.

The sublime beauty of the Adam Style in all its permutations will come to life via a lavish PowerPoint presentation by Curt DiCamillo, an American architectural historian and a recognized authority on the British country house. He has written and lectured extensively in the U.S. and abroad. In recognition of his work, Curt has been presented to the late Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and The Prince of Wales. He is a member of The Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, Curator of Special Collections at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and an alumnus of both the Royal Collection Studies program and The Attingham Summer School for the Study of Historic Houses and Collections.