The Adam style (or Adamesque) is a style of neoclassical architecture and design as practised by Scottish architect Robert Adam (1728- 1792) and his brothers. A book of engraved designs made the “Adam” repertory available throughout Europe. A parallel development of this early phase of neoclassical design is French “Louis XVI” style.
Robert Adam’s main rivals were James Wyatt, whose many designs for furniture were less known outside the wide circle of his patrons, because he never published a book of engravings, and Sir William Chambers, who designed fewer furnishings for his interiors, preferring to work with able cabinet-makers like John Linnell, Thomas Chippendale and Ince and Mayhew. So many able designers were working in this style in London from ca. 1770, that the style is currently more usually termed Early Neoclassical.
It is typical of Adam style to combine decorative neo-Gothic details into the classical framework. So-called “Egyptian” and “Etruscan” design motifs were minor features.
The “Adam style” is identified with:
The Adam style found its niche from the late 1760s in upper-class residences in 18th century England, Scotland, Russia where it was introduced by Scottish architect Charles Cameron, and post-Revolutionary War United States (where it became known as Federal style and took on a variation of its own). The style was superseded from the end of the 1780s by a more massive and self-consciously archeological style, connected with the First French Empire.