National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Paul Mellon William Franklin Draper (artist)
American, 1912 - 2003
Paul Mellon, 1974
oil on canvas
overall: 122.5 x 101.9 cm (48 1/4 x 40 1/8 in.) framed: 128.9 x 119.1 x 8.2 cm (50 3/4 x 46 7/8 x 3 1/4 in.)
Paul Mellon Collection
1983.75.1
On View
From the Tour: Founding Benefactors of the National Gallery of Art
Object 9 of 9

Son of the National Gallery's founder and the brother of Ailsa Mellon Bruce, Paul Mellon (1907-1999) became the first president of the Gallery's Board of Trustees in 1938-1939 following Andrew Mellon's death. Paul Mellon served again in this position from 1963 to 1978, and it was during this time that he oversaw the conception and construction of the East Building, for which he provided a major part of the funding. An avid horseman, Mellon developed an interest in English sporting pictures, which led him to build an extensive collection of British art in addition to American and French art. Donations to the Gallery from Mellon and his wife account more than 900 works of art ranging from masterpieces of European painting, a group of 357 scenes of American Indian life by George Catlin, and forty-eight wax statuettes of dancers and bathers by Edgar Degas--the world's largest holding of such works.

William Franklin Draper, navy combat artist during World War II and later a successful portrait painter, animated his portrayal of Paul Mellon with rapid, slashing strokes of the brush.

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