Amandus Heinrich Adamson was born on the 12Th November 1855, near Paldiski on the farm by the name of Uuga-Rätsepa. His father was a seaman and his mother the daughter of a farmer. At age seven young Amandus was sent to a school for impoverished children in Tallinn. There his gift for woodcarving was noticed by one of the teachers, he was freed from doing chores around the schoolhouse and his carvings were sold in a Tallinn shop.After several rejections, the first being at age 14, Adamson was finally accepted into the Imperial Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg in 1875. After finishing the studies he gained considerable connections and had his first solo exhibition in 1887 - a considerable accomplishment for a young artist, as solo exhibitions were difficult to arrange. From 1887-1891 Adamson spent four years honing his skills in Paris. In 1889 he presented two works at
Exposition Universelle, which was followed by a number of other exhibitions many bringing Admason both praise and financial gain. While in Paris he distanced himself from the strictly classical Russian school and took more to the Baroque Revival style, popular in Europe at the time.
Allegory of Russia with the folk hero Ivan Susanin, Adamson and the workers of the Werfel factory, St.Petersburg 1913
Adamson returned to Petersburg in 1891, often visiting his hometown. Starting from 1901 he started taking working on monuments, with the first being "Russalka" in Tallinn (1902). This was followed by a number of high profile works, both private and ones commissioned by the government. In 1907 Adamson was made a professor by the Petersburgh Academy of Arts, being nominated by highly respected artists such as
Arkhip Kuindzhi. Under Adamson's tutelage studied several painters, who would in time become Estonian classics in their own right, two being Konrad Mägi and Nikolai Triik.
The house of Romanovs had fallen by 1918, as had a commission for the Imperial family Adamson had invested all of his financial resources into. Together with his wife and two young children Adamson moves to Paldiski and returns to working in the format of smaller sculptures, thought starting from 1921 he starts receiving orders for monuments. Until his death on the 26Th of June 1929 Adamson creates ten monuments celebrating the War of Independence.
Amandus Adamson died of a heart attack at home, having breakfast with his wife and son. He is buried in Pärnu, behind his first and favourite Independence monument. Next to him rests his youngest daughter Maria.