Patrick William Adam was born in Edinburgh, the son of a well-known lawyer. Choosing a career in the arts instead of the law, Adam studied at the Royal Scottish Academy under George Paul Chalmers and William McTaggart. He first exhibited at the RSA at the age of 18, eventually showing a total of 164 paintings there. His travels abroad took him to Rome, Venice and Russia. Although Adam’s varied output includes portraits, landscapes, and still life, he is now best remembered for his genre paintings and interiors, which he painted in his North Berwick studio from 1908 onwards.