1908 (dated) 17 x 30 in (43.18 x 76.2 cm)
A scarce 1908 signed bird's-eye view of Brown University drawn by Richard Rummell. The view looks on the Brown campus from the southeast corner of the College Front Green. The Van Wickle Gates and University Hall, where the Office of the President is located, appears at center, with the College Main Green just behind. The neoclassical Manning Hall, housing the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, appears just to the left of University Hall. To the right is Slater Hall, a residential building constructed in 1879. The two buildings appearing prominently in the foreground were destroyed to make room for the John Hay Library (1910) and the John D. Rockefeller Library (1964). The Romanesque Sayles Hall (1881) is recognizable in the background, as is the octagonal Robinson Hall (1878). Prospect and George Street intersect at the bottom right.
Rummell University ViewsRummell 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. His first college view was mostly likely Yale, issued in 1906, followed by other prestigious college (Harvard, Brown, Princeton, etc..), then other significant schools. From these watercolors, copper-plates were engraved, and a limited number of engravings were issued. Most of Rummell's university views are strikingly similar in style, reveling 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 CensusThis is an original hand-tinted photogravure signed by Richard Rummel (lower right) in 1908. It may have been issued by Littig, like most Rummell prints, but in this case, there is not imprint. In more recent times, Arader Galleries acquired many of the original printing plates for Rummell's college views and issued a mass market restrikes, but the original printings, as here, have become extremely rare. We are aware of only 2 other surviving examples of Rummell's Brown University.
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 throughout. In the 1950s, the original printer's plates for many of Rummell's university views were rediscovered in a Brooklyn warehouse. They were auctioned and sold to Arader Galleries, which today issues 'limited edition' reprints of his more desirable university views. 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.
Very good. Even toning.