1910 Richard Rummell View of Pennsylvania State University

The Pennsylvania State College. - Main View

1910 Richard Rummell View of Pennsylvania State University


Richard Rummell's gorgeous view of Penn State including the original Old Main and Old Engineering.


The Pennsylvania State College.
  1910 (undated)     18.25 x 31 in (46.355 x 78.74 cm)


This is a 1910 Richard Rummell view of The Pennsylvania State University, popularly known as Penn State. Illustrating what was then the Pennsylvania State College from the southeast, Allen Street Mall bisects the view and, it should be noted, was still open to traffic at the time. The original Old Main is instantly recognizable just to the right of The Mall overlooking Old Main Lawn. Built in 1863, the original Old Main contained classrooms, laboratories, offices, a chapel, and rooms for 400 students. The building was deemed structurally unsound in the 1920s and razed in 1929. It was rebuilt in 1930, and the Old Main building that stands on campus today occupies the same piece of real estate where the original Old Main stood. Schwab Auditiorium is illustrated just behind and to the left of Old Main. Across The Mall from Old Main stands the Armory, which was originally constructed in 1892. This building housed the physical education facilities, as well as places for varsity athletics and other social events. It also served as the base of operations for the college's Cadet Corps, which was required of all male students until World War I. The Carnegie Building, built in 1904, stands behind the Armory and is currently occupied by Penn State's College of Communication and the Daily Collegian. Other buildings that still stand on campus today that are illustrated here include Old Botany, Ihlseng Cottage, and the McAllister Building. The large building in the foreground just to the left of center is Old Engineering, constructed in 1893 for the college's new engineering program. Unfortunately, the building caught fire and burned down in 1918 and Sackett Hall now stands in its place.
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, 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 form a balloon.

In more recent times, Arader Galleries has acquired many of the original printing plates for Rummell's college views and has issued a number of restrikes, but the original printings, as here, have become extremely rare. This is the first example of Rummell's view of Penn State that we have encountered.


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 overall toning. Blank on verso.