Early Work by Norman Adams.

Born in 1927, Norman was a teenager during the war and 18 in 1945. In 1945 he was called up and chose to be a conscientous objector. For this he spent a short time in Wormwood Scrubs, after which he was ordered to work on a farm. His surviving early work reflects prison life and the ghastly news coming out of Germany.


Prison Chapel. 1946.

This depicts the Sunday worship that Norman attended in prison. To Norman these services were a brief break from the monotony and violence of prison life.


The Gates of Paradise, 1947.

This drawing is an attempt to come to terms with the news of the concentration camps. People queue to enter paradise, which could be a concentration camp, or a park in London. Occasionally some individuals are taken aside, and do not enter. Is the mass of people going to paradise? And are those not allowed in going to something worse?

Adam. Painted about 1946.

This is Adam of 1946. After the two dreadful wars, the concentration camps and all the other dreadful things that European man did in the two wars he knows what man can do do man.

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Kingdom of Apathy, drawn about 1946.

Norman's early ambition was to be a cartoonist. This drawing may have been a reaction to European democracies of the time. The king who does not care sits on his throne, surrounded by sycophants. Below this capitalism and degeneracy results in misery.

Oils from the 1950's