1906 Richard Rummell View of Princeton University, New Jersey

Princeton University. - Main View

1906 Richard Rummell View of Princeton University, New Jersey


Do You Speak Princetonian?


Princeton University.
  1906 (undated)     17 x 30 in (43.18 x 76.2 cm)


This is a scarce 1906 Richard Rummell view of Princeton University, in a brilliant full-color example. This is the earlier of two views of the campus Rummell produced.
A Closer Look
Overlooking campus from a point high above today's Rockefeller College and Nassau Street, Alexander Hall and Maclean House appear immediately on the left. On the right, the first recognizable buildings are Blair and Buyers Halls and the Blair Arch. The old Halstead Observatory appears in front of Blair Hall, which is where Joline Hall stands today. Witherspoon Hall appears immediately behind the Blair Arch. Edwards Hall is partially blocked by Witherspoon Hall and Edwards does the same thing to Dod Hall. Both Little Hall and the Dillon Gym appear to the right of Edwards and Dod, and Princeton's railroad station adorns the right border with several horse-drawn carriages waiting. Returning to Alexander Hall at the center, Stanhope Hall is blocked by trees and Nassau Hall with its iconic belfry. East Payne Hall and Chancellor Green, then Princeton's library, are to the left of Nassau Hall. Dodge Hall appears to the right of East Payne Hall and McCosh Hall is illustrated to the left and behind both Didge Hall and East Payne Hall. 1879 Hall is recognizable in the background on the left.
Rummell University Views
Rummell was an American landscape artist known for his drawings of American universities. At the turn of the century, Littig and Company commissioned Rummell to prepare watercolors of some of the nation's most prestigious colleges. From these watercolors, copperplates were engraved, and a limited number of engravings were issued. Most of Rummell's university views are strikingly similar in style, revealing the entire campus in panoramic splendor. The views are uniformly issued from an altitude of about 300 feet, suggesting the Rummell most likely worked from a balloon.
Publication History and Census
This is the first of Rummell's views of Princeton, drawn no earlier than 1906. It was commissioned and printed by Littig Company of New York, but printings were also executed by Boston's A.W. Elson and Co. We have seen modern restrikes from the original Littig plates; we can be confident this is not one of these, as the restrikes bear the Littig imprint (absent here).


Richard W. Rummell (1848 – June 4, 1924) was an American artist active in Brooklyn during the late 19th and early 20th century. Rummell was born in Canada, the son of German immigrant Frank X. Rummell and his wife Eliza Rummell. He immigrated to the United States as a youth settling with his parents in Buffalo. He relocated to Brooklyn when he was in his mid-30s, setting up an illustration office at 258 Broadway in Manhattan. Rummell is best known for his series of views of American colleges completed around the turn of the century. Since Rummell's views universally appear to be drawn from an altitude of about 300 feet, it has been speculated by many art historians that he worked from a balloon. Rummell was also a bit of a futurist and among his more interesting works are a series of speculative images of the New York of tomorrow, with vast airships, trains running over the tops of skyscrapers, and elegant sky bridges. In the 1950s, the original printer's plates for many of Rummell's university views were rediscovered in a Brooklyn warehouse. Rummell's Brooklyn home was located at 45 Bay 28th Street and later 73 Hanson Place. In addition to his work as a visual artist, he was an accomplished actor and an avid yachtsman. He founding member of the Bensonhurst Yacht Club, where his yacht, the Careless was usually docked. He was also a member of the Royal Arcanum fraternal order. Rummell was survived by his wife, Emmeline Rummell, daughter, Chrissie Atkinson, and two sons, John Tribel Rummell, and Richard Rummell Jr., who became a famous Florida architect. More by this mapmaker...


Excellent. Slight rippling to sheet, else a fine, bright example.


OCLC 54650256. Boston Public Library, Leventhal Center, G5400 1730.