Papers of art collectors Pauline Baerwald Falk (1910-2000) and Myron Samuel (Johnny) Falk Jr. (1906-1992). This collection includes correspondence; art collection documentation; research materials; photographs (slides and prints) and audiovisual materials; financial information; biographical data; records of philanthropic and social activities; travel records; and appointment books.
Organized into five series:
• Series 1: Biographic Materials
• Series 2: Travel
• Series 3: Correspondence
• Series 4: Collection Files
• Series 5: Slides
Biographical / Historical:
Pauline Baerwald was born in New York City in 1910, living there until her death in 2000. In 1932 she graduated from Smith College and went on to the School of Social Work at Columbia University. Pauline's father, Paul Baerwald, was a German-Jewish banker and philanthropist, as well as an executive board member of the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), an agency chartered to provide refugee services for European Jews who were victims of persecution throughout Russia and Europe. Pauline was an active volunteer with the JDC throughout World War II. After the war she was one of the founders of the National Refuge Service (later the New York Association for New Americans) as well as the Jewish Social Service Association. She also served as president of the Jewish Family Services, a predecessor agency of the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services. In 1935 Pauline Baerwald married Myron "Johnny" S. Falk, Jr., and raised three children: Patricia, Michael and Nancy. Pauline, with support from Johnny, was a founder of the New Lincoln School in Manhattan, having attended the Lincoln School as a child. They maintained connection to charitable social work throughout their lives.
Myron "Johnny" S. Falk, Jr., son of Myron S. Falk, was born in New York City in 1906. In 1928 he earned a degree at Yale and a B.S. in Engineering from MIT in 1929. During World War II Johnny was a commissioned officer in the army, posted to the Pentagon ordinance section, applying his engineering and management skills to the task of munitions production. The family moved to Washington, D.C. during the war. In addition to his professional career as an investment banker with Ralph E. Samuels and Co., Johnny was a director of the New York Foundation and Hebrew Technical Institute. He was a board member of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies and Bennington College.
Pauline and Johnny were both introduced to Chinese art early in life. Johnny's father collected Chinese porcelain to decorate his New York home. In keeping with the taste of the times, most of his pieces were Kangxi blue and white porcelains. On his sixtieth birthday he divided his porcelains among his three children. Several years later Johnny and his sister, Mildred, gave many of those Kangxi porcelains to the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., to be permanently installed, together with many other porcelains, to re-create the original appearance of the Whistler Peacock Room.
Pauline was introduced to Chinese art by her uncle, Emil Baerwald, who took her to the Metropolitan Museum to see the Bishop Collection and on visits to Yamanaka and Company on Fifth Avenue, where Mr. Shirai would take them into the private rooms to see the rarest pieces. Emil Baerwald lived in Europe, and, as an active collector of Chinese ceramics, he became acquainted with leading Chinese art collectors there, including George Eumorfopoulos and Sir Percival David. He provided introductions to collectors when Pauline and Johnny visited England in 1950.
In 1937 Pauline and Johnny made their first trip to China on Pan Am's Clipper, flying from San Francisco to Manila. It was during their first visit to China that Johnny and Pauline began buying early Chinese pottery and works of art. Pauline referred to this trip as the one trip that formed their collection. On this flight they met K.C. Chung, a consultant and friend for years to come. Pauline's uncle, Ernst Baerwald, lived in Tokyo and was well connected in the arts. Through his introductions they met significant art dealers, including Mathias Komor, who became an advisor to them.
Pauline and Johnny were contributors the founding of many Asian art organizations in America during the years following World War II and the Korean War. They participated in the establishment of the Archives of the Chinese Art Society of America in 1945, a scholarly journal which was renamed Archives of Asian Art in 1966 and continues publication today.
Pauline and Johnny were strong supporters of the Asia Society, where Johnny was a trustee. In 1971 they were among the first participants in the Japan Society and were founding members of the Friends of Japan House Gallery. Johnny was also a trustee of the Research Laboratory of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston from 1966 until his death. In 1950 Pauline and Johnny attended a meeting of the Oriental Ceramic Society (OCS) of London, and a few years later Johnny became the OCS representative in North America, a post he held for more than thirty years.
Johnny Falk died in 1992 and Pauline Baerwald Falk passed away in 2000, the same year the collection of approximately 700 items was assigned to Christie's.
Gift of the Falk family.
Collection is open for research.
Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository.
The John Alexander Pope papers contain limited biographical, personal and professional information. The bulk of the collection consists of published and unpublished writings, research materials and correspondence.
The collection is arranged into six major series. A seventh series inventories outsize materials contained in the other series.
Series 1: Biographic Material
Subseries 1.1: Academic and Professional Life
Subseries 1.2: Personal and Official Photographs of Pope, Family and Colleagues
Series 2: John A. Pope Asian Ceramics and Art Collection
Series 3: Published and Unpublished Materials
Subseries 3.1: Articles, Lectures and Manuscripts
Subseries 3.2: Chinese Porcelains from the Ardebil Shrine: Research Materials and Publication Correspondence
Series 4: Research Material: Subject Files
Subseries: 4.1: Asian Art and Ceramics: Background Material
Subseries 4.2: Chinese Ceramics
Subseries 4.3: Chinese Ceramics and the Porcelain Trade
Subseries 4.4: Japanese and Korean Ceramics
Series 5: Travel
Subseries 5.1: Itineraries, Expenses and Notes
Subseries 5.2: Photographs, Negatives and Slides
Series 6: Correspondence
Series 7: Inventory of Outsize Materials
John Alexander Pope was a renowned scholar and authority on Asian art, especially Chinese and Japanese ceramics. He spent most of his professional career at the Freer Gallery of Art, which he joined in 1943 as an Associate in Research. He later served as Assistant Director (1946 to 1962) and then as Director (1962 to 1971). After his retirement in 1971, he continued at the Freer as Director Emeritus and Research Curator for Far Eastern Ceramics.
Pope was born in Detroit, Michigan on August 4, 1906 and died in Washington D.C. on September 18, 1982. He obtained a Bachelor's degree in English literature from Yale College. In 1929, prior to graduation, he joined the China International Famine Relief Commission sent to survey famine conditions in the Yellow River valley. As a truck driver for the Commission, he travelled throughout north China giving him an unparalleled chance to see the land and people at first hand. In Beijing, he met and spent time with Alan Priest, later curator of Far Eastern Ceramics at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In a 1972 letter, Pope recalled his time with Priest in 1929 as "the most important factor in my subsequent decision to go into the field." From 1934 to 1941 he was a graduate student at Harvard University, studying Chinese and Japanese languages and the history, archaeology and art of these countries. He spent 1938 as a Travelling Fellow of the Harvard-Yenching Institute studying Chinese archaeology at the University of London; he also travelled to Stockholm, Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin to study museum and private ceramic collections. Harvard awarded him an M.A. degree in 1940 and a Ph. D. in 1955.
From 1945 to 1946, on leave of absence from the Freer, Pope served as a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve posted to Tianjin, China as a Chinese language interpreter. He travelled frequently to Beijing, spending time with Jean Pierre Dubosc and other Chinese art connoisseurs. In introductory notes to a 1979 lecture he recalled that on one of these Beijing trips he made his "first purchase of blue-and-white." Thus began of a life-long interest in Chinese blue-and-white porcelain in general and establishing criteria and a methodology for dating and stylistic analysis of 14th and 15th century blue-and-white in particular. His publications included analysis of important collections of Chinese ceramics, for example those at the Topkapi Sarayi in Istanbul and at the Ardabil Shrine in Iran. Many of his lectures, articles and research trips focused on Chinese trade ceramics, not only in European collections but also from Asian shipwrecks and at sites ranging from East Africa to The Philippines.
Pope made his first trip to Japan in 1956. In his 1979 notes he wrote: "My visit to Karatsu and meeting with the Nakazato family started my serious interest in Japanese ceramics." He made many trips to Japan beginning in the late 1960s, often spending several months at a time visiting important kiln sites and Japanese potters as well as collectors. His research emphasis gradually shifted to Japanese porcelain and the issues of dating and identifying kiln sites and wares. At the time of his death he was researching a book on Japanese porcelain.
Over time Pope created a substantial personal collection of Chinese and Japanese ceramics. He developed an extensive network of connoisseurs, dealers and scholars. He travelled frequently, visiting public and private collections, attending various symposia, and meeting with a wide range of colleagues involved in the world of Asian ceramics. He belonged to many professional associations and served as advisor or board member for several museums and academic institutions.
James Cahill Papers
Prince Aschwin Lippe Papers
SIA Acc, 03-018, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery,
Central Files, 1919-1986
Freer Gallery Study Collection, ceramic shards donated by John Alexander Pope, see http://www.open.asia.si.edu search John Pope.
Collection is open for research.
Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository.
Exhibition of Ju and Kuan wares, Imperial wares of the Sung synasty, related wares and the Sung dynasty, related wares and derivatives of later date. : Catalogue of an exhibition from Nov. 12th Dec. 13, 1952 / Introduction by Sir Percival David
Da Ying bo wu guan Daweide jue shi cang Zhongguo tao ci jing xuan / Kang Ruijun, Huo Jishu zhu ; Hang Wei, Li Baoping deng yi ; Li Baoping shen = The British Museum Chinese ceramics : highlights of the Sir Percival David collection / Regina Krahl and Jessica Harrison-Hall
大英博物馆大维德爵士藏中国陶瓷精选 / 康蕊君, 霍吉淑著 ; 黄薇, 李宝平等译 ; 李宝平审 = The British Museum Chinese ceramics : highlights of the Sir Percival David collection / Regina Krahl and Jessica Harrison-Hall
British Museum Chinese ceramics : highlights of the Sir Percival David collection