Lithograph of The University of Georgia, Circa 1854 (UGA 06-026)
Is this the earliest known close view of the University of Georgia campus?
While this lithograph has many similarities with the better known print from Gleason's Pictorial of May 13 1854, there are many tantalizing differences. This view seems more realistic and leads us to believe it may have been the model for the more stylized and inaccurate Gleason's view, which perhaps was done by someone who had never been near the campus.
Note in particular how the trees, including the famous Toombs oak in front of the Chapel, sport realistically broken branches. In the Gleason's view the trees are stylized. Perspective is much more accurate in this print and the Lustrat house and Old College are obscured by pine trees. In the Gleason's print the pine grove has been thinned, but the artist has transformed Lustrat house into an enormous three story building. Our theory is that the Gleason's artist only had this print to go by and had to guess at what was beyond the trees.
Gleason's print. See full sized image.
It's interesting that both prints feature a Demosthenian Hall with a gabled roof and without the central window.
While the lithograph bungles the wheels of the carriage, the individuality of the people in the view is fascinating.
Unfortunately time has been harsh with the lithograph and it was trimmed to fit into a smaller frame, obliterating the name of the company producing the print and the name of the artist. Illustrations using this print appear in older issues of the Georgia Alumni Record, so it is hoped that at least one other and better preserved copy still exists somewhere.
This copy, however, has additional noteworthy ties to the University. It comes from "Tockwotton", the home of Louis Moore, a famous collector of books. In 1936 his library became the foundation of the Hargrett Library, shortly before the equally famous DeRenne Collection was acquired. Researchers in the Hargrett will frequently encounter a Louis Moore bookplate in front of a work they are consulting. When the Moore library moved to the University, the family kept this print. Eventually it came into the hands of Moore's nephew and namesake, Dr. Louis Moore of Naples, Florida, who generously donated it to the University for the use of researchers.
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