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Alfred Pope: An Evolution of Ingenuity
On view through May 30, 2023
Hill-Stead Museum
Farmington, Connecticut

“Alfred Pope: An Evolution of Ingenuity” illuminates a long-overlooked figure in the history of Hill-Stead and of American art collecting. Through this exhibition and accompanying catalog, Hill-Stead Museum presents Alfred Atmore Pope (1842–1913) as a bold and leading collector of European modernism and position him rightfully among his peers. The exhibition also examines and challenges long- held beliefs about his collecting strategies, practices, and motivations. Pope, who hailed from modest means and had no formal background in the arts, has long been revered as self-taught and ruggedly independent in the building and refining aspects of collecting. It was believed that he acted without relying on an advisor in any official capacity.

Together, the show and catalog offer the first-ever comprehensive study and presentation on Alfred Pope, complete with a biography and a holistic assessment of his collecting pursuits and accomplishments. Through examination of his correspondence, together with consideration of the entirety of his collection, both the works in this exhibition that were retained and now comprise the museum’s permanent collection and those that were divested for myriad reasons, visitors gain an unprecedented understanding of this important historic figure.

[Image: Credit Line: Claude Monet, Oat and Poppy Field, 1890. William I. Koch Collection]