Calendar Records Shed New Light on Elusive Artist “A. Pope”

'Faith and Loyalty' is signed  by 'A. Pope.'

‘Faith and Loyalty’ is signed by ‘A. Pope.’

Editor’s note, 10/3/12: As a result of the information presented below, a number of site visitors have described prints attributed to A. Pope or Alexander Pope Jr., featuring subjects similar to those listed in the calendar records. It now appears that Alexander Pope Jr. may have sometimes signed his name as “A. Pope” and/or that the calendar records may have recorded artwork obtained from Alexander Pope Jr. as “A. Pope.” This further confuses the issue, suggesting that there may have been two “A. Popes,” one painting from Tonnesen’s photos and another specializing in wildlife and other topics unrelated to Tonnesen’s photos.

As regular visitors to our blog know, we have been trying to learn the true identity of the artist whose signature “A. Pope” appears on at least two calendar prints that originated as photos by Beatrice Tonnesen. Having been unable to find any verifiable information about an artist by that name who worked in the early part of the twentieth century, I had been inclined to believe that the name might be a pseudonym for another artist or, possibly, the name of a staff artist working for either the Tonnesen Studio or one of the calendar companies.

Recently, however, Ron Grassmann, newsletter editor for the R. A. Fox Society, collectors of early illustration art, has been kind enough to share some new information with me. Perusing the records of the old American Art Works Company of Coshocton, Ohio, calendar publishers, he found a listing of paintings by A. Pope which were published as prints between 1918 and 1921. They are described as follows:

– “Mallards,” published in 1918

– “Out in Front,” depicting a horse and sulky, published in 1918

– A special publication for the US Cartridge Co. depicting ducks (no date)

– “Fisher on the Grand Banks,” showing a man in an oil skin coat, published in 1921

-“General Pershing,” published in 1921.

Prior to this listing, nothing to my knowledge had ever connected A. Pope to any print or painting that had not originated as a photo by Tonnesen. These titles, however, do not suggest subjects that Tonnesen is likely to have photographed. So, the “A. Pope Mystery” deepens! Has anyone out there seen any of these prints, which presumably appeared on calendars between 1918 and 1921? To read earlier posts about A. Pope on this blog, please see:

Who Was the Artist Behind the A. Pope Signature?

Prints Signed ‘A. Pope’ Came from Tonnesen Photos

Popular Boy and Dog Image Found in Tonnesen Archive

Copyright 2011 Lois Emerson

2 thoughts on “Calendar Records Shed New Light on Elusive Artist “A. Pope”

  1. I bought a print @ auction signed “A. Pope Jr” of a pointer dog standing in grass, white body, black head, white muzzel. It measures 13 3/4″ x 10″. Very faint in the left hand corner it looks like Hamland Co ?? Are you familiar with this piece?

  2. Hi Janice,\n\nThanks for writing. The “Jr.” part of the signature on your painting has been helpful in researching this question. My searches on A. Pope, Jr. suggest that he was Alexander Pope, Jr., a painter of dogs and wildlife. Until you and one other site visitor wrote, I had not known that he sometimes signed only the initial “A” as opposed to “Alexander.” The A. Pope who painted from Tonnesen’s photos was identified on a calendar flyleaf as “Alan Austin Pope.” Since the calendar records cited in this post referred to subject matter of the type painted by Alexander Pope, Jr., I now believe them to be unrelated to the artist who painted from Tonnesen’s photos.

Leave a comment