Arthur Walter Adams 1842 - 1934 Adams and Stilliard, Adams and Scanlan.
Carte de visite 1873
Active in Southampton c 1861 - 1885
The partnership between Arthur Walter/Walton Adams and William Stilliard began when both worked for Samuel J Wiseman in the 1860s. The 1861 census for Millbrook, Southampton, listed Arthur W Adams as an apprentice, (although the trade was not recorded). In the same year, William Stilliard was living with his parents in Oxfordshire and already working as a photographer. Adams and Stilliard were listed as photographers in the 1869 Cox Southampton directory. The backs of cartes de visite in the mid to late 1860s state 'Formerly with S J Wiseman',or 'late Wiseman', indicating that earlier in the 1860s the partners were working for Wiseman. Early Cartes de visite produced by Adams and Stilliard referred to the firm as the 'South of England Photographic Institution'. (See Goddard and the Southampton Photographic Institute 1843).
The 1871 census listed William Stilliard, Master Photographer, living and working at 9 Bernard St, assisted by his younger brother James. ( See entry for Adams and Stilliard for more detail). Adams was living with his family at a separate address in Bevois Town. Over the next two years both of the young Stilliard brothers died, and their elder brother Edward inherited William's half of the partnership with Adams.
A second studio was opened at 32 High Street, advertised in the 1876 Cox Southampton directory.
By 1881 Edward Stilliard had moved on, and Adams was in partnership with William Robert Scanlan at 32 High Street. (See entry for Robert Scanlan).The firm traded both as Adams and Stilliard and as Adams and Scanlan, at the Alhambra Studios. (See entry for Hubert Henry for photograph of the interior of the Alhambra Studios). In 1883 the partnership with Scanlan was dissolved; however, the firm continued trading under that name in Southampton until the early 1890s. The backs of cartes de visite from this time proudly record the royal patronage of the firm.
By 1891 Walter Adams was running a photography studio in Reading, having changed his name to Walton Adams. His patrons included members of the royal family and prominent figures such as Lloyd George. His sons Marcus and Victor followed their father into portrait photography. Marcus developed sophisticated studio lighting systems and specialised in photographing children. Marcus was photographic adviser to George V and photographed the royal children.
Marcus’ son Gilbert also became a photographer. As well as portraits of children he photographed aircraft, ballet and theatre, and the work of artists including Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. Gilbert Adams designed the lighting for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
Adams senior died in 1934, having established a dynasty of photographers.
The firm of Walton Adams and Son was still active in Reading in the early twenty first century.