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1910 Richard Rummell View of the University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania.

1910 Richard Rummell View of the University of Pennsylvania


The only surviving view of the University of Pennsylvania campus from the turn of the century.



University of Pennsylvania.
  1910 (undated)    16.4 x 28 in (41.656 x 71.12 cm)


This is an iconic 1910 view of the University of Pennsylvania by Richard Rummell. Although this view was not published, as here, until 1910, Rummell's artwork dates to about 1904. It is considered the only surviving view of the University of Pennsylvania from the turn of the century. Although much has changed since this view was printed, the campus remains recognizable. The view is centered on the Fisher Fine Arts Library, rendered in all of its Venetian gothic splendor. Although at the time many looked down on the building as excessively overwrought, Rummell clearly appreciated it. To the right of the Arts Library is College Hall, this historic center of the campus The Penn Mechanical Laboratory is recognizable for the large smokestack. This building was demolished and replaced by Irvine Auditorium, in 1906, one year after Rummell painted the view, and thus is of some assistance in assigning a date. Silverman Hall is the large Georgian style building in the lower right.

Rummell began issuing views of American colleges around 1905. Rummell's views come in several different forms including color, as here, and black and white. Like most of Rummell's university views, it is copyrighted by Littig and Company.

In more recent times Arader Galleries has acquired many of the original printing plates for Rummell's college views and currently issues re-strikes, but the original early 20th century printings, as here have become extremely rare.


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 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.


Good. Even toning. Discoloration lower right margin.
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