People & Organisations

Adolph Paul Oppé (1878 - 1957)

owner

English writer, collector and museum official. Educated at Charterhouse and New College, Oxford, from 1905 to 1938 he worked for the Board of Education, serving in his capacity as a Board official as Deputy Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, in 1910–13. His first books were on Raphael and Botticelli, but Oppé subsequently concentrated on English art, finding himself equally at home in the salerooms and in the world of academic scholarship. His purchases as a collector included the lucky discovery of 17 watercolours by Francis Towne, which he was able to buy for only five shillings since Towne, along with many other English watercolour painters of the later 18th century, was so little regarded at that time. Oppé made extensive investigations into the life and works of Alexander Cozens and his son John Robert Cozens, and he also undertook important research on Paul Sandby and his brother Thomas Sandby, many of whose drawings were (and remain) in the royal collection at Windsor Castle, Berks. His catalogue of drawings at Windsor (1950) is at once a study of English art and an account of the growth and development of the royal collection itself. Oppé’s own private collection of watercolours and Italian Old Master drawings, which subsequently passed to his daughter, was exhibited at the Royal Academy the year after his death. A sensitive and generous account of his career by Charles Mitchell was published in the reprint (1970) of Oppé’s Raphael.

Adolph Paul Oppé

Figure 1.
Unknown Photographer, Adolph Paul Oppé, bromide print, 1954 or before


Digital image courtesy of National Portrait Gallery, London

Literature
Notebooks and Papers of Paul Oppé (1878-1957), private collection
Paul Oppé, 'Francis Towne, Landscape Painter', The Walpole Society: London, 1920
Paul Oppé, 'John White Abbott', Walpole Society Journal: London, 1925
Thomas Jones ed. Paul Oppé, 'Memoirs of Thomas Jones', The Walpole Society: London, 1951
Paul Oppé, 'Drawings at the National Gallery of Canada', The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs: London, 1941
Paul Oppé, 'English Watercolours, Messrs Agnews', The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs, No. 505: London, 1945
Paul Oppé, Barton Place catalogue, unpublished: 1915
Historically related works

FT055
FT062
FT064
FT088 , 1921
[?] FT115 , 1949
FT136 , 7 October 1949
FT143
FT146
FT163
FT228 , 27 July 1910 (no.42)
FT257 , 27 July 1910
FT271 , 15 April 1946
FT283 , 27 July 1910 (no.40)
FT284 , 27 July 1910 (no.41)
FT296 , 27 July 1910 (no.39)
FT304 , 9 May 1935 (no.2093)
FT306 , November 1935 (no.2112)
FT310 , 27 July 1910 (no.52)
FT318 , 27 July 1910 (no.53)
FT319 , 27 July 1910 (no.54)
FT321 , 27 April 1911 (no.104)
FT325 , 27 July 1910 (no.51)
FT326 , 27 July 1910 (no.46)
FT327 , 27 July 1910 (no.50)
FT328 , November 1935 (no.2113)
FT329 , 27 July 1910 (no.48)
FT330 , 27 July 1910 (no.49)
FT332 , November 1935 (no.2114)
FT335 , November 1935 (no.2115)
FT336 , November 1935 (no.2116)
FT338 , 23 October 1935 (no.1792)
FT339 , 27 July 1910 (no.44)
FT340 , 27 July 1910
FT343 , 31 March 1939 (Oppé 47)
FT350 , 21 October 1935 (no.2111)
FT361 , 27 July 1910 (no.47)
FT417 (no.687)
FT419 , 25 June 1925 (no.1791)
FT451 , 1927 (no.1868)
FT517 , 1915 (no.897)
FT564 , 30 September 1935 ( no.2105)
FT567 , 9 March 1916 (no.508)
FT571 , 9 March 1916 (no.507)
FT584 , 27 April 1911
[?] FT589 , 1955
FT591 , 7 October 1926 (no.1847)
FT601 , 8 November 1928 (no.1912)
FT773 , 17 November 1938 (no. 74)
FT788 , 25 October 1956 (no.2487)
FT793 , 27 July 1910 (no.43)
FT859 , 1920 (no Oppé number)
FT862 , 27 July 1910 (no.54a)