1913 Richard Rummell View of Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts

Smith College Northampton, Mass. - Main View

1913 Richard Rummell View of Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts


View of Smith College, the largest member of the historic Seven Sisters colleges.


Smith College Northampton, Mass.
  1913 (undated)     17.5 x 28.25 in (44.45 x 71.755 cm)


This is a c. 1913 Richard Rummell view of Smith College, a private liberal arts women's college in Northampton, Massachusetts. Founded in 1875, Smith College is the largest member of the Seven Sisters collegiate league. Looking west over the campus from the intersection of Elm Street and West Street, College Hall, Smith's first building, appears front and center. To the left of College Hall, some of the buildings that are still stand on campus include Pierce Hall, Seelye Hall, Lilly Hall, Alumnae Gym, Lawrence House, Morris House, Tyler House, and Neilson Library. Forbes Library, which houses the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library today, appears in the lower left. Identifiable buildings to the right of College Hall include Dewey Hall, Stoddard Hall, and Gillett House. St. John's Episcopal Church, which is not affiliated with Smith College, is also illustrated.
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 acquired many of the original printing plates for Rummell's college views and issues restrikes, but the original printings, as here, have become extremely rare. This is the first time we have encountered Rummell's view of Smith College.


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. Learn More...


Very good. Exhibits light toning and soiling. Blank on verso.