The Old Homestead
PhotographerRudolph Eickemeyer Jr.
Image Dimensions: 17.2 x 12.6 cm
Support Dimensions: Detail: 25.3 x 20.0 cm (staining to lower margin area)
The Old Homestead, also known as An Old Mansion, was taken in 1906 or before by Eickemeyer as it was reproduced along with other photographs by him to accompany a story by Sydney Allen (Sadakichi Hartmann) titled The Pond in the October, 1906 issue of The Metropolitan Magazine. This example, titled and signed Rudolph Eickemeyer in ink script in the lower margin, is a hand-colored, gelatin silver photograph glued to a cream-colored mount. On the verso is a small rectangular ink stamp studio attribution for the photograph:
“The Murray Prints” Published by Colgrove Bros., Inc. Buffalo, N.Y. Order by Size & Number: SIZE x 7 NUMBER 324.
The website Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc of East Aurora, New York states:
“The Murray Prints” were published circa the early 1920’s by the Colegrove Brothers, Inc., a photographic portrait studio and enlargement house located at 774-776 Main Street in Buffalo, NY. They called themselves “The House of Distinctive Portraiture”, and also maintained a portrait studio in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada under the name of the Rounds-Colegrove Company.” (1.)
The first paragraph of Allen’s story, in which this photograph titled An Old Mansion appears, (flipped halftone) describes the old house as a place where he and presumably Eickemeyer stayed while visiting this area of the Berkshires in the state of Massachusetts. An excerpt:
“I DOUBT if a more delightful retreat from the cares of city life can be found than the old homestead in the Berkshire Hills in which I am spending my vacation.
It is an old mansion, long deserted by its original inhabitants, slowly crumbling to pieces under the influence of rain, snow and wind of the rigorous New England climate. The plaster work is full of fissures, the floors have given away in places, and moss has touched the roof and penetrated here and there to the window sills; but a person not over fastidious in taste will find it comfortable enough. It is of wide and large dimensions, simple and old fashioned, with its old fireplaces, cosy nooks and corners, which carry one back to those times when the stage coach, with sounding horn and cracking of whip, passed twice a week from Boston to Albany; and who knows if the house itself has not some historic reminiscences?” 2.
It is not known in what quantity this photograph was reproduced nor if Eickemeyer’s signature is authentic or done by Colgrove Brothers.
1. Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc N.Y. website accessed 2012
2. The Pond: by Sydney Allen: illustrated with photographs by Rudolf Eickemeyer: in: The Metropolitan Magazine: R.H. Russell, publisher: New York: October, 1906: pp. 7-8