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Harold Adams Collection

Collection Overview

Title: Harold Adams Collection

Predominant Dates:1999-2007

ID: RG 08/8.01

Extent: 1.0 Boxes (General)

Languages: English [eng]


Born in Laurel County, KY, Harold Adams graduated from Berea College in 1948.  He would go on to obtain his medical degree in obstetrics and gynecology from the State University of New York, College of Medicine, Brooklyn. After graduating, Dr. Adams took a position in St. Paul to start his obstetric career. In 1980, at the age of 62, after contracting a life-threatening form of hepatitis (an industry health hazard at the time), Adams could no longer practice medicine.  At this time he turned to his long-time interest in the arts and started taking art classes. At the age of 69, he enrolled as an MFA candidate at the University of Minnesota. The story goes that he immediately began working on a series of large paintings of his diseased blood cells. He continued to ‘paint himself well’ and five years later was given an all-clear diagnosis – almost unheard of without any kind of drug therapy or medical intervention. Every single piece he paints is a self-narrative of some kind – personal, abstract and highly evocative.

His art is displayed and housed throughout the United States and has been exhibited at the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis and at Berea College, including in Hutchins Library.  An endowed Biology Scholarship for Berea students was created by Sharon Labovitz in honor of Dr. Adams.  Adams also received his MFA from the University of Minnesota.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection is comprised of biographical information regarding Harold Adams as well as photographs of his artwork.  Many materials in this the collection pertain to Adams visit to Berea College in January of 2007 and include interview notes, articles, information regarding his artwork, and numerous photographs.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: Records can be accessed through the Reading Room, Berea College Special Collections and Archives, Hutchins Library, Berea College.

Use Restrictions: There are no restrictions on the collection other than federal copyright regulations.

Preferred Citation: [Record/Folder], RG 8/8.01: Harold Adams Collection.  Berea College Special Collections and Archives, Berea, KY.

Processing Information: Processing completed May 2017.

Box and Folder Listing

Box 1: Harold Adams CollectionAdd to your cart.
Folder 1: Tim Arnold Article, Interview Quesitions, and Adams' Itinerary, 2006-2007Add to your cart.
Itinerary for visit to Berea, 2007.  Includes correspondence regarding visit.
Folder 2: Biographical Information/Information regarding art work, 1999-2008Add to your cart.
Includes photographs of artwork, 2006.
Folder 3: InterviewAdd to your cart.
Handwritten questions and answers.
Folder 4: Photocopies pages of scrapbookAdd to your cart.
Contains photographs of Adams during military service as well as copies of certificates and papers from Berea College.
Folder 5: PhotographsAdd to your cart.
8x10 photographs of artwork.  Also contains photographs of friends and family.