Rebecca Tropp

As Research and Events Convener, Rebecca is responsible for conceptualising, delivering and convening the Paul Mellon Centre’s events programme and contributing to its in-house research projects. Working closely with other members of the Events Team and the wider Centre staff, her purview includes research seminars, work-in-progress research lunches, workshops, conferences, reading groups, public events aimed at broader audiences, and the Graduate Summer Programme for Yale University and UK students.

Before coming to the Paul Mellon Centre, Rebecca served as the Acting Assistant Director of the Ax:son Johnson Centre for the Study of Classical Architecture, based at Downing College, Cambridge, and she continues to serve as an Affiliated Lecturer in History of Art at the University of Cambridge. She has held full-time internships at the Brooklyn Museum and Asia Society Museum in New York and worked for a number of years for a private collector of modern and contemporary art.

An art and architectural historian, Rebecca focuses her research on changing relationships between the built and natural environments in eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century Britain (and its wider global empire) under the influence of the picturesque aesthetic of the period. Other research interests include architectural draughtsmanship; the history of windows and interior illumination; the potential of columns to frame, partition and bridge; and patronage by historically overlooked groups. More broadly, she is interested in the art, architectural and landscape history of Western Europe, especially Britain and France, c. 1650–1900.

Rebecca holds a PhD in History of Art from the University of Cambridge, where she also earned her MPhil. Her research was supported by the Cambridge Trust, St John’s College, the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain and Kettle’s Yard; following completion of her PhD, she was awarded a Paul Mellon Research Continuity Fellowship. Rebecca received her BA (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Columbia University in New York.


‘The interior topography of the picturesque: Level changes and stepped floors in James Wyatt’s Dodington Park and Ashridge House’, Architectural History 66 (2023): 155–184.

‘For dowager or disability? John Nash’s designs for the Countess of Shannon’, Georgian Group Journal XXX (2022): 149–160.

‘“The most original and interesting part of the design”: The attached quadrant conservatory at the dawn of the nineteenth century’, Studies in the History of Gardens & Designed Landscapes 41, no. 3 (2021): 234–256.