The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Alfred Atmore Pope, 1842-1913

Nationality: American
Date of Birth: 1842.07.04
Place of Birth: North Vassalboro, ME
Date of Death: 1913.08.05
Place of Death: Farmington, Connecticut


Alfred Atmore Pope was an American manufacturer and collector.


In 1864 Pope began working for the family's wool-manufacturing business, but soon turned his intention to the iron industry. By 1877 he had become the president of the Cleveland Malleable Iron Company, which became the National Malleable Castings Company in 1891. His involvement with the iron works was further extended to Chicago and Toledo.

Pope began collecting paintings in the 1880s. He was introduced to the Impressionists by John Howard Whittemore, his friend and business colleague, by his son the collector Harris Whittemore, and also through his friendship with Mary Cassatt. His collection included works by Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Edouard Manet and Auguste Renoir. These he purchased mainly through the New York and Paris firms of Paul Durand-Ruel and Boussod & Valadon. He also collected decorative objects, Persian rugs, bronzes, Chinese porcelain and Japanese prints.

Pope, who deeply admired JW's 'love of the beautiful', was in correspondence with JW in the 1890s. He wrote to JW on 27 November 1894 hoping that Red and Black: The Fan (YMSM 388) was going well as he had first claim on 'The Woman in Red' as he called the work. However, it was still in JW's studio at his death and was subsequently bequeathed to the University of Glasgow by his sister-in-law and executor Rosalind Birnie Philip. Pope came to own 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) (which he bought straight from JW following its completion in 1893) and Crimson note: Carmen (YMSM 441). He also bought a number of JW's prints.


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).