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1906 Richard Rummell View of Yale Univeristy, New Haven, Connecticut

[Yale University.]

1906 Richard Rummell View of Yale Univeristy, New Haven, Connecticut


A rare original example of Rummel's panoramic bird's-eye view of Yale Univeristy.



[Yale University.]
  1906 (dated)    18 x 30.5 in (45.72 x 77.47 cm)


A scarce 1906 signed photogravure bird's-eye view of Yale University drawn by Richard Rummell and published by F. D. Nichols of Boston. The view is centered on Osborne Hall (now demolished and replaced with Bingham Hall) with its distinctive chapel-like façade. Chapel Street runs in front of the hall and Temple Street can be seen running northward towards East Rock. Many of the extant buildings of the historic Old Campus, including Connecticut Hall (1752), are easily recognizable. Welch Hall and Lawrance Hall stand alongside College street, across from the New Haven Green which is complete with the three chapels that still stand today: United Church on the Green (Congregational, 1814), Center Church (Congregational, 1812), and Trinity Episcopal Church on the Green (1816). In the distance the heights of East Rock, with its distinctive Soldiers and Sailors Monument, is clearly visible.

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.

Of all Rummell university views, the Yale view is particular both in its format and printing style. Unlike many Rummell university views, the Yale view is rarely colored. Moreover, it is typically printed on an extremely thin tissue paper, as here, which has been laid down on card. The print can be removed from the card, but because the printing tissue is so thin, it required being remounted on either archival paper or linen. These oddities suggest that the Yale view may have been one of the first university views Rummell published. Being a Brooklynite, Yale would have been one of the nearest and easiest universities to focus on as a prototype for the series. Of all Rummell's university views, it is further noteworthy that the Yale view is one of the rarest to the market. There are at least two original states of the Rumell Yale University view, one with a title, and one, presumably the earlier, without the title, as here.

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 by Elson and Company, 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.


Very good. Backed on card. Even toning.
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