Albert Adams, Wild Animal Drinking Water, 2013.
Image courtesy of Edward Glennon and the Art Fund.

Special collection: Albert Adams

The University collection holds a substantial collection of prints, paintings and objects by South African Expressionist artist Albert Adams (b. 1929 Johannesburg, d. 2006 London), generously donated by his partner Edward (Ted) Glennon through the Art Fund.

Adams was denied access to formal arts education in South Africa due to apartheid policy, and moved to London in 1953 to undertake a scholarship at the Slade School of Art. Here he met Salford based artist Harold Riley, first visiting Salford to stay with Riley’s family over Christmas. After returning to South Africa several times between 1959 and the 1990s, Adams eventually settled permanently in London and taught at schools and colleges.

Much of Adams’ work focused on political oppression and abuse of power, from imprisonment of activist friends and relatives to more recent conflicts and human rights violations in Darfur and Abu Ghraib. Through an ongoing series of self-portraits, Adams also continually explored his own sense of identity.

A rotating selection of Adams’ works is on permanent display in the Albert Adams Room in The Old Fire Station, University of Salford, renamed in honour of the artist in February 2015.

Purchased with Art Fund support, made possible with the generosity of Edward Glennon.