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John Alexander Pope Papers

Creator:
Pope, John Alexander, 1906-1982  Search this
Source:
Aga-Olgu, Kamer, 1903-  Search this
Warner, Langdon (1881-1955)  Search this
Mayuyama, Junkichi, 1913-1999  Search this
Dubosc, Jean-Pierre, 1903  Search this
Former owner:
Aga-Olgu, Kamer, 1903-  Search this
Dubosc, Jean-Pierre, 1903  Search this
Mayuyama, Junkichi, 1913-1999  Search this
Warner, Langdon (1881-1955)  Search this
Names:
David, Percival, Sir, 1892-1964  Search this
Extent:
45 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1925-1982
Summary:
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 The bulk of the collection consists of published and unpublished writings, research materials and correspondence.
Arrangement note:
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Series 3: Published and Unpublished Materials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
Biographical/Historical note:
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.
Related Material:
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.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository.
Occupation:
Art dealers -- Japan  Search this
Art dealers  Search this
Topic:
Blue and White Ware-China  Search this
Pottery-Japanese-Collector and Collecting  Search this
Oriental Ceramic Society London  Search this
Photography -- China  Search this
Pottery-Chinese-Collectors and Collecting  Search this
Pottery - Asia  Search this
Pottery-Japan  Search this
Pottery -- China  Search this
Citation:
John Alexander Pope Papers. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.
Identifier:
FSA.A1988.01
See more items in:
John Alexander Pope Papers
Archival Repository:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-fsa-a1988-01
Online Media:

Ritual wine container (zun) with taotie and dragons

Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
H x Diam (overall): 25.8 x 20.8 cm (10 3/16 x 8 3/16 in)
Type:
Metalwork
Ceremonial Object
Origin:
China
Date:
ca. 1100-1050 BCE
Period:
Late Shang dynasty
Topic:
dragon  Search this
Anyang period, Late Shang dynasty (ca. 1300 - 1050 BCE)  Search this
casting  Search this
wine  Search this
China  Search this
Chinese Art  Search this
Paul Singer collection  Search this
taotie  Search this
zun  Search this
Credit Line:
The Dr. Paul Singer Collection of Chinese Art of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; a joint gift of the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, Paul Singer, the AMS Foundation for the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities, and the Children of Arthur M. Sackler
Accession Number:
S2012.9.578
Restrictions & Rights:
CC0
Related Online Resources:
Google Cultural Institute
See more items in:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection
Data Source:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ye3d5d60dc6-87c6-46f1-83ba-9e9372604b2a
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:fsg_S2012.9.578

Ming blue-and-white porcelain

Author:
Oriental Ceramic Society  Search this
Physical description:
14 p., iv p. of plates : ill. ; 29 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Place:
China
England
London
Date:
1948
Ming-Qing dynasties, 1368-1912
Topic:
Blue and white ware  Search this
Porcelain, Chinese  Search this
Porcelain  Search this
Call number:
NK4399.B58 O75 1946
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_856520

Wares of the Tʻang dynasty : catalogue of an exhibition held from April 27th to June 8th, 1949

Author:
Oriental Ceramic Society London  Search this
Physical description:
15 p. 4 plates. 28 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Date:
1949
[1949]
Topic:
Pottery, Chinese  Search this
Call number:
738.51 .07 1949
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_860902

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

Author:
Oriental Ceramic Society, London  Search this
David, Percival Sir 1892-1964  Search this
Physical description:
16 pp. 6 pl
Type:
Books
Place:
China
Date:
1952
Topic:
Pottery  Search this
Call number:
738.51 .07 1952a
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_860925

PRE-T'ANG WARES

Author:
Gray, Basil 1904-1989-  Search this
Oriental Ceramic Society (London)  Search this
Physical description:
[17] p. ill. (16 b&w.)
Type:
Exhibitions
Date:
1953
1953]
Topic:
Pottery, Chinese  Search this
Pottery, Chinese--T'ang  Search this
Call number:
738.51 .07 1953
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_860932

Catalogue of an exhibition of Japanese porcelain : held by the Oriental Ceramic Society from March 28th 1956 to April 28th 1956

Author:
Oriental Ceramic Society, London  Search this
Physical description:
[27] p., 12 plates, 28 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Date:
1956
[1956]
Topic:
Porcelain, Japanese  Search this
Call number:
738.52 .O5
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_863098

Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society

Author:
Oriental Ceramic Society  Search this
Oriental Ceramic Society, London. Arts of the Sung dynasty  Search this
Subject:
Oriental Ceramic Society  Search this
Physical description:
v. : ill. ; 29 cm
Type:
Periodicals
Date:
1922
Topic:
Pottery, Asian  Search this
Call number:
NK4154 .T82
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_434430

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