UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Ada Brooks Pope, ??-??

Nationality: American
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
Date of Death:
Place of Death:

Identity:

Ada Brooks Pope was the wife of the American manufacturer and collector Alfred Atmore Pope. They had a daughter Theodate Pope-Riddle, who became the first female architect in America.

Life:

The Popes owned a number of works by JW, including The Last of Old Westminster (YMSM 39), Blue and Silver: Blue Wave, Biarritz (YMSM 41), The Selsey Shore (YMSM 200), Dark Blue and Silver (YMSM 412) and Crimson note: Carmen (YMSM 441), as well as several JW prints. Ada Pope had a substantial interest in interior decoration and appears to have had some control in the hanging of these pictures. Alfred Pope wrote to JW in November 1894: 'Mrs. Pope has had trouble enough with the men, hanging and re-hanging, to get the best effect and make an equitable disposition of the honors' [#05000].

Ada Pope and her husband collected decorative objects, including Persian rugs, bronzes by Antoine-Louis Barye, Chinese porcelain and Japanese prints. In September 1894 JW wrote to Alfred Pope: 'By the way when you are in Vigo Street, you should also look in (a little further from Dicker's) at Parke's - where you will see beautiful old "settings" - rugs - and "baskets" and the rest of it - that Mrs Pope & your daughter will delight in' [#09343].

The Popes' relationship with JW was a friendly and social one: their communications were not merely on a formal business level [#09344]. Alfred Pope, writing of his family's experience of JW, declared: Decoration in thy name lies all there is in antithesis. Well - we go - we take with us - among other beautiful things to live with - the memory of meeting the Whistlers - and the hope of future meeting -' [#04998].

Bibliography:

Cox, K., 'The Collection of Mr. Alfred Atmore Pope', Noteworthy Paintings in American Private Collections, ed. A. F. Jaccacci and J. La Farge, vol. 2, New York, 1907, pp. 257-370; Paine, J., Theodate Pope Riddle: Her Life and Work, New York, 1979; Hall, H., 'Alfred and Ada Pope as Collectors', Antiques, October 1988, pp. 862-63; Miller, Lilian B., 'Alfred Atmore Pope', The Grove Dictionary of Art Online, ed. L. Macy, accessed 30 April 2002, http://www.groveart.com.