October 26, 2012

The Girard College, Philadelphia

This lithograph shows an exterior view of Girard College at Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, including Founder's Hall and the eastern and western outbuildings. The school buildings, designed by Philadelphia architect Thomas Ustick Walter in the Greek Revival style, were constructed in 1833–47. Girard College was established through a bequest from Stephen Girard, a Philadelphia financier and philanthropist, for the creation of a school for poor white male orphans. The illustration is by John Caspar Wild (circa 1804–46), a Swiss-born artist and lithographer, who arrived in Philadelphia from Paris in 1832. He produced paintings and prints of Philadelphia and other American cities, including Cincinnati, Saint Louis, and Davenport, Iowa. His works are important historical records of these cities before the era of large-scale industrialization and rapid urban growth.

American Classical and Military Academy at Mount Airy, Germantown, 8 Miles from Philadelphia

This lithograph shows the American Classical and Military Academy in the Mount Airy section of Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, located some eight miles (13 kilometers) from the center of Philadelphia.  The right wing was built in 1750 as “Mount Airy,” the country seat of Pennsylvania Chief Justice William Allen, and early in the 19th century the area took the building’s name. Founded as Mount Airy Seminary (later Mount Airy College or Collegiate Institute) in 1807, the school served as a military academy in 1826–35 under the superintendence of Augustus L. Roumfort. The building was demolished in 1848 or 1849. The lithograph is by George Lehman (circa 1800–70), a Swiss-born landscape artist, engraver, and lithographer, who in 1824 immigrated to the United States with his family, several of whom were also engravers. The print was produced by the lithographers Cephas G. Childs and Henry Inman, who were partners in 1831–33.

Eastern Penitentiary of Pennsylvania. Near Philadelphia

This hand-colored lithograph shows a view looking past farmland to the Eastern Penitentiary of Pennsylvania. In the foreground, two boys sit in a fenced pasture in which cows graze near sheds and an enclosed pond with ducks swimming on it. In the background, a farm is visible in front of the prison at which a carriage is parked and a man rides on horseback. The penitentiary was built in 1823–36 after the designs of John Haviland and opened in an unfinished state in 1829. Located at 2101–99 Fairmount Avenue, it was one of the largest and most expensive structures of its day and was most unusual in having flush toilets and heating in the cells. George Lehman (circa 1800–70), a Swiss-born landscape artist, engraver, and lithographer, who in 1824 immigrated to the United States with his family, several of whom were also engravers, produced the original art for this print. The lithograph was made in about 1833 by Childs & Lehman, when Lehman was in partnership with Cephas G. Childs, one of the foremost engravers in Philadelphia.

Friends' Asylum for the Insane near Frankford

This circa 1836 lithograph depicts the first private psychiatric hospital in the United States. Known as the Friends’ Asylum for the Insane, it was founded in 1813 by the Society of Friends (also called the Quakers) and opened to patients in 1817. The institution stood on land that formerly was a 52-acre farm in Oxford Township, near Frankford, ten kilometers northeast of the center of Philadelphia. The view here, a pastoral scene with men standing in the foreground and animals grazing, is of the almshouse building as it appeared after two patient wings were added to the original structure in 1827. The print is by George Lehman, (circa 1800–70), a Swiss-born landscape artist, engraver, and lithographer, who in 1824 immigrated to the United States with his family, several of whom were also engravers. It was produced by the partnership of Lehman & Duval, which Lehman formed with Peter S. Duval (1804 or 1805–1886), one of the foremost lithographers of his time. The work appeared as the frontispiece of the 1836–40 annual reports of the asylum, which were entitled Annual Report of the State of the Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason.

General View of Laurel Hill Cemetery

In the 1830s, a group of influential Philadelphians wanted to establish a rural cemetery that would be naturalistic, serene, and in genteel seclusion. They settled on Laurel Hill at 3822 Ridge Avenue, the former estate of merchant Joseph Sims, which had rocky bluffs and spectacular views and was about six kilometers from the city center. The cemetery, built in 1836–39 after the designs of Scottish-born architect and landscape designer John Notman, is seen in this bird's-eye view of part of the grounds. This view shows horse-drawn carriages and a hearse approaching and horse-drawn wagons parked in front of the main gate. Tombs, monuments, and a Gothic-style chapel line the landscape of the cemetery. The print is by Edward J. Pinkerton, partner in Pinkerton, Wagner & McGuigan, a Philadelphia lithographer active in the 1840s. The firm mostly produced book and periodical illustrations and experimented early with chromolithography. The lithograph appeared as the frontispiece in the Guide to Laurel Hill Cemetery in 1844.

Fairmount

This landscape view looking west from Reservoir Hill in Philadelphia shows the Fairmount Water Works, originally constructed between 1812 and 1822 after the designs of Philadelphia chief engineer Frederick Graff. Built to supply the expanding city with safe drinking water, the works included an engine house, mill house, and a millrace bridge. Visitors are seen strolling on the landscaped grounds of the works and rowers are visible on the nearby Schuylkill River. Also depicted are residences, probably including Lemon Hill, the Schuylkill Canal lock, and the river dam. The illustration is by John Caspar Wild (circa 1804–46), a Swiss-born artist and lithographer, who arrived in Philadelphia from Paris in 1832. He produced paintings and prints of Philadelphia and other American cities, including Cincinnati, Saint Louis, and Davenport, Iowa. His works are important historical records of these cities before the era of large-scale industrialization and rapid urban growth.