Archives & Library

Archive Collections

The Centre holds and provides access to archive material relating to the study of British art and architectural history. The collections contain the research papers of art historians, museum directors and curators; dealers; art critics, collectors and other individuals working in the field of art history.

Paul Oppé

64 boxes. This material has been catalogued. Please search the archive catalogue for full details (Ref APO). An introduction to this collection, including an online gallery of selected material, can be viewed on the Collections in Focus feature.

Research notes, correspondence, annotated exhibition and auction catalogues, and other associated material compiled by Paul Oppé throughout his career largely concerning eighteenth century British artists. Also includes material relating to the creation and maintenance of his own collection of drawings and watercolour, as well as an extensive set of diaries and notebooks that he maintained throughout his adult life.

The Centre also holds material from Oppé’s library.

Adolph Paul Oppé (1878–1957) was a British art historian, critic, art collector and museum official. Educated at New College, Oxford, he taught at both the University of St Andrews and Edinburgh (1902–5); worked as a civil servant at the Board of Education (1905–38); served as adviser (1906–7) and deputy director at the V & A (1910–13); and was elected as a fellow of the British Academy (1952). Oppé’s collection of over 3,000 drawings from the period 1750–1850 was acquired by the Tate in 1996. Oppé wrote many catalogues, articles and monographs on various artists, including Alexander Cozens, Francis Towne, William Hogarth and Paul Sandby. He also inaugurated the study of British drawings as a scholarly pursuit.

Paul Oppé Archive and Library