Cassilly Adams (1843–1921)
A descendent of President John Adams, Cassilly Adams created history paintings and genre scenes that captured the spirit of life on the American frontier. Adams studied at the Boston Academy of Art and the Cincinnati Art School before joining the Union army during the Civil War. After being wounded in the Battle of Vicksburg, Adams produced his masterpiece, Custer’s Last Fight (1884-85), which drew upon his own experience during the war. The painting was considered a vital document of American history and was exhibited across the country. Following that success, Adams concentrated on depicting the Amercian West and gained prominence for his compelling portrayals of the Cheyenne, Sioux and Plains Indians. His work is in important collections throughout the United States, including the Amon Carter Museum in Texas, the Joslyn Art Museum in Nebraska, the Shelburne Museum in Vermont, and the Arizona Historical Society.