Katherine Langhorne exhibited only twice in Old Lyme, in 1912 and 1913, and little is known about her association with the colony, except that she coped readily with a male artist who mistakenly entered her bedroom in the Griswold House one night, having been misdirected by forgetful Miss Florence. She studied at the Art Students League under John Henry Twachtman and Frank Vincent DuMond and was also enrolled in summer courses, possibly in either Cos Cob or Old Lyme. She exhibited at the National Academy of Design as early as 1912, and in 1915 two of her works were included in the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. Although it is not known whether she studied in Paris, she traveled throughout Europe as well as in Japan, and much later, in the 1930s, she lived for a while in Buenos Aires.
Around 1916 Katherine Langhorne married Benjamin Pettengill Adams, moved to New York, and thereafter exhibited under her married name. Three exhibitions of her paintings were held during the 1920s at the Milch, Babcock, and Montross Galleries in New York. Her eleven paintings at Milch included both New York City and New England country subject matter. Reviewing her 1928 exhibit at Babcock Galleries, which featured views of the Palisades, a critic for Art News commented on the relative abstraction of her landscapes:
Mrs. Adams' interpretations of nature show the influence of her teacher, Twachtman, as well as an excellent sense of Oriental elimination. For those in quest of photographic accuracy these seasonal studies of the Palisades will offer little that is recognizable or satisfying. For those to whom landscape painting at its best is but a state of mind, Mrs. Adams' work loses nothing by its departure from the minutiae of the earlier exponents of Hudson River scenery.
Katherine Langhorne Adams was also represented in exhibitions at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors, where she won the Marcia Tucker Prize in 1935 and an honorable mention the following year.
With her husband, she had moved in the 1920s to Sneden's Landing, Palisades, New York, where she designed the stone house they had built there. Her plan won first prize in a contest sponsored by House Beautiful magazine for "the best small house East of the Mississippi." Later, she lived in Fairfield, Connecticut, and Alexandria, Virginia.
"Exhibition in New York," American Art News, 20 (Jan.14, 1922), 1.
"Katherine Langhorne Adams, Alfredo Cini, Babcock Galleries," Art News, 26(May 12, 1928).11.
Biography courtesy of Roughton Galleries, www.antiquesandfineart.com/roughton