Robert Adam

Robert and James Adam are famed as the pioneers of neo-classicism in Britain. Their work spans the breadth of the country and has influenced generations of architects, artisans and academics. Robert Adam was born in 1728, the second son of the leading Scottish architect William Adam. He and his younger brother James eventually settled in London to a life of architectural endeavour. Their fruitful partnership attracted over three hundred and fifty patrons during the course of their career, and resulted in some of the most beautiful architecture and interior design of the Georgian period.

After their death their brother William edited the office rolls and organised the drawings into typologically arranged folios. In 1833 the approximately 9,000 drawings were bought by Sir John Soane and delivered to his house in a wheelbarrow.

The Adams drawing collection at Sir John Soane's Museum now comprises over 80% of the surviving Adam graphic material anywhere in the world and it has become a focal point of research into the Adam brothers' work. It is of great benefit to Sir John Soane's Museum that the Adam drawings collection is not only a tool for research and conservation – it is also a living collection which can inform and inspire contemporary architectural and interior decorative works.

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