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Mellon, Paul, 1907–1999

Paul and Rachel Mellon dealer files, 1933-1997.

Physical Description:
25 linear feet (52 boxes)
Accessible by appointment in the Study Room [Email]
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Related Content:
View a description and listing of collection contents in the finding aid
Archives & Manuscripts
This collection is unprocessed and may not be available for immediate access.
Mellon attended Clare College at Cambridge after graduating from Yale in 1929, and while there, he began collecting books, particularly English color-plate books and books on racing and hunting. He went on to purchase his first paintings, including English painter George Stubbs' Pumpkin with a Stable-lad (1774). In the late 1940s, Mellon and his second wife Rachel (called Bunny) began collecting French Impressionist paintings, additional sporting paintings, and English books, particularly those by William Blake. During the remainder of Mellon's collecting career, he created strong collections of English literature, paintings, prints, and drawings, as well as French paintings. Most of these collections now reside at the Yale Center for British Art, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. (founded by Paul's father, Andrew W. Mellon), and the Virginia Museum of Fine Art.
Mellon was interested in genre paintings, sporting art, landscapes, marine paintings, urban views, conversation pieces, and informal portraits. Most of these were medium or small-scale pictures, but Mellon also collected some larger scale artworks. His sculpture purchases were mostly portrait busts, and most of his British collections were from the eighteenth century.
Mellon maintained good relationships with his dealers. As he became known as a collector, most of his purchase transactions were started by dealers contacting him about artwork or books they thought would interest him.
This collection consists of records relating to the purchase of books and artwork, including prints, drawings, sculpture, and paintings, by the Paul Mellon family. The records are composed of correspondence and invoices between various dealers and Paul Mellon. Many files include detailed provenance, biographical and conservation information as well as photocopied exhibition catalogs. There are records pertaining to artwork found at the Yale Center for British Art, the National Gallery of Art and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, among other institutions..
Subject Terms:
Art -- Collectors and collecting.
Art dealers.
Art, British.
Yale Center for British Art.