The papers document John
Pope-Hennessy's professional activities as a historian of Italian Renaissance art, museum
director, curator, and teacher. The archive contains museum files, correspondence, study
photographs, and manuscripts of his scholarly work. Also included are papers from his
family, namely his parents, Ladislas and Una Pope-Hennessy and his brother, James
Pope-Hennessy. The family papers include letters, clippings, and manuscripts of published
and unpublished works.
Sir John Wyndham Pope-Hennessy (1913-1994) was a British art historian, museum director,
curator, and an expert on Italian Renaissance sculpture and painting. He served as director
of both the Victoria and Albert Museum (1967-1973) and the British Museum (1974-1976). In
1977, he became Chairman of the Department of European Paintings at the Metropolitan Museum
of Art and professor of art history at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts. Sienese
Quattrocento painting was Pope-Hennessy's first field of research and was marked by his
monograph on the painter Giovanni di Paolo. However, his greatest contribution to the
history of art is perhaps his research and writing on Italian sculpture, which profited from
his decades-long work with the rich sculpture collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
His three-volume Introduction to Italian Sculpture has
remained an important reference work and was followed by studies on Donatello, bronze
statuettes, and Italian plaquettes.
116 Linear Feet
(220 boxes, 2 flatfile folders)
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