Adams’ interest in pattern and decoration painting clearly influenced the core content of the work as she explores the artistic representation of enslaved peoples. While 'Precarious Prototypes' is polished and grandly conceptual (packing the visual drama that wins large awards), Adams’ fervor is more explicit on the other side of the gallery, where ornate illustrations detail the depictions of enslaved peoples in many traditions across a broad cultural spectrum. The hanging of the small paintings chafed at my gallery sensibilities in a way that felt healthy—the frames are cramped and the rough edges of the paper betray the hand of the maker, but I was drawn deeply into the crowded texts hand-painted by the artist-historian. The details here aspire to those of other illuminated manuscripts that can be seen at the Walters, making it perhaps the perfect place to elevate the illustrative arts alongside grander and more formalist works. Adams is fighting for the underdogs of both art and history here, using literal patterns to draw out global ones and small images to tell large stories.