This is a rare 1906 Richard Rummell view of Williams College, a private liberal arts college located in Williamstown, northwestern Massachusetts. The view looks west along modern day Spring Street (Route 2), through Williams College toward the Berkshire Hills in the distance. Thompson Memorial Chapel and Griffin Hall appear in the foreground on the right. In the left foreground are Currier Hall and Fitch House. The Octagonal building on the left is the former Lawrence Hall, designed by Thomas A. Tefft in 1846, which has today been incorporated into a larger building that houses the Williams College Museum of Art. Just beyond is he college residential building Morgan Hall and the modern-day Flak Science Quad.
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 his publisher, W. T. 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. We have encountered many of Rummell's view over the years, but this is the first time we have seen an original of Williams 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 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. Light toning.