Marcus Adams (photographer)

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Marcus Algernon Adams (15 May 1875[1] – 9 April 1959) was a British society photographer noted for his portraits of children.

Adams was born in Southampton, Hampshire, the son of Reading-based photographer Walton Adams.[2] He began his career as an architectural photographer for the British Archaeological Society and took photographs for books by the antiquarian C.E. Keyser.[3]

With fellow photographers Bertram Park and Parks' wife Yvonne Gregory, Adams formed the "Three Photographers" group in 1920. Based at 43 Dover Street, Mayfair, they each worked independently, but shared use of printing, retouching and darkroom staff.[3][4][5]

Gaining notability for his portraits of children Adams took the first official photographs of the Duchess of York and her daughter Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen Mother and Queen Elizabeth II).[3] His 1934 photograph of Princess Elizabeth at the age of 8 was used as the portrait for the $20 banknote of the 1935 Series of banknotes of the Canadian dollar.[6] He continued his work as a photographer of royal children until a sitting with Princess Anne in 1956.[3] Other notable children photographed by Adams included Christopher Robin Milne, John Julius Norwich and Simone Prendergast.[3]

He died in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, aged 83.[7]

His son, Gilbert Adams, also became a photographer and artist specialising in oil portraiture and landscapes mainly in Cornwall and Wiltshire. Gilbert assisted his father in his early career.

His great grandson, Andrew Adams has followed in the family tradition and is also a professional photographer running a wedding and marine photography business in Hampshire. [3]


  1. ^ 1939 England and Wales Register
  2. ^ 1901 England Census
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Marcus Adams". National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  4. ^ "Marcus Adams: Royal Photographer". Royal Collection. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  5. ^ Marcus Adams. "Negative Book I: 1920-1929". Royal Collection Trust. Inventory no. 2943329.
  6. ^ The Art and Design of Canadian Bank Notes (PDF). Bank of Canada. 6 December 2006. ISBN 0660632462. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  7. ^ England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007