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John Russell Pope

photo of John Russell Pope, circa 1916

John Russell Pope (1873–1937)

John Russell Pope’s training at Columbia University, a subsequent scholarship to the American Academy in Rome to study the architecture of Italy and Greece, and his enrollment in the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, nurtured his enthusiasm for classical architectural styles. Returning to New York in 1900, he joined the office of Bruce Price while also accepting freelance assignments from McKim, Mead & White.

In 1905 Pope opened his own practice; his firm’s projects would range from commemorative monuments to palatial residences to grand public buildings. Among his most famous commissions (some carried out posthumously) are the National Archives, Washington, D.C.; the addition to The British Museum, London, to house the Parthenon marbles; the West Building of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and the Jefferson Memorial.

Pope’s Garden Court was a key element in his proposed scheme for the creation of The Frick Collection. An inspired design, which enclosed the mansion’s former exterior courtyard under glass, the Frick’s Garden Court prefigured Pope’s designs for similar courts in the National Gallery of Art.

John Russell Pope photographed by Pirie MacDonald, c.1916, Collection of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York