Namesake of the awards,  John Russell Pope (1874-1937), was a prominent architect whose many works in and around Washington, D.C., include the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and the National Gallery of Art. A New Yorker, Pope received training at the American School of Architecture in Rome (now the American Academy in Rome) and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He gained renown for his uniquely American interpretation of European classicism. Pope’s domestic and monumental architecture established him, according to architecture historian Stephen M. Bedford, as a “leader in the development of highly refined and restrained American classicism.”

The biennial John Russell Pope Awards recognize the best work of individuals who contribute to the legacy of classical and traditional design in the Washington Mid Atlantic region.

The John Russell Pope Awards are held every two years.