menu icon mobile devices search icon mobile devicesSearch the site

John Adams-Acton (1830-1910)

John Adams-Acton was born John Adams at Acton Hill in Middlesex, the son of a tailor. He took the additional surname Acton to avoid confusion with other artists of the same name. Educated at Lady Byron's school in Ealing near London, he was trained as a sculptor by Timothy Butler and subsequently worked in the studio of Mathew Noble. He attended the Royal Academy Schools between 1853 and 1858 and displayed considerable early promise. In 1858 he travelled to Rome on a scholarship and remained there for seven years.

After his return to England, Adams-Acton  established a studio in London and was soon regarded as one of the best portrait sculptors in England. His subjects included Queen Victoria, King Edward VII and William Gladstone who was also a family friend. He also executed the well-known Westminster Abbey portrait of the Wesley brothers.

Source: Dictionary of National Biography

Return to The Methodist Archives Biographical Index

Can we help?