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A Prospect of Harvard University and of Radcliffe College 1935

  • Author: SCHRUERS, Edwin Judson
  • Publisher: Merrymount Press, Boston
  • Date: [1935] 1936
  • Dimensions: map: 62 x 82 cms


Pictorial map of Harvard & Radcliffe College [1935] designed by Edwin J Schruers for Harvard’s 1936 Tercentenary celebrations

About this piece:

A Prospect of Harvard University and Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Colour-printed map. Map sheet laid down contemporarily on thin cardboard backing. Fine condition.

Striking Pictorial plan of the Harvard & Radcliffe College campuses in Cambridge, Massachusetts, designed by former scholarship student & Architecture alumnus, Edwin Judson Schruers [1903-1994] as a commemorative piece to celebrate the University’s Tercentenary Year in 1936. It was first copyrighted on April 15th 1935 and published by the Merrymount Press of Boston.

The buildings of both campuses are shown in bird’s eye perspective, whilst the coats of arms of the different University Houses, Lowell, Winthrop, Dunster, Kirkland, Adams & Leverett decorate the upper right corner. A Prospect of Harvard College as it appeared in 1726 and portrait of its founder, John Harvard, [1607-1638], “a godly gentleman and a lover of learning”, appear in the upper right. A fine decorative compass spur embellishes the lower right of the image, whilst two gowned academic figures support a large title cartouche on the left.

The border text references the historical roots & motivations behind the founding of Harvard in 1636 when an initial fund of 400 Pounds was provided by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Schruers includes the original 17th Century text outlining the College founders’ reasons for the establishment of this new seat of learning, as first published in New England’s First Fruits [1643]. The words are also inscribed on a commemorative tablet on the University’s Johnston Gate:

After God had carried us safe to New England and we had builded our houses, provided necessaries for our livelihood, reared convenient places for God’s worship, and settled the civil government: One of the next things we longed for and looked after was to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity; dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches, when our present ministers shall lie in the dust.

1636.Dedicated to the Graduates of Harvard University in Commemoration of the Tercentenary of its Founding.1936

Edwin Judson Schruers [1903-1994] was a native of Oil City, Pennsylvania and the eldest of five children. His father Fred worked as a pumper on the local oil wells. Educated locally, in about 1925 he took his initial B.A. degree at Allegheny College, Pennsylvania. He took a Masters at Harvard [1928] and subsequently gained an Architecture scholarship [1933]. He also taught English at Lake Forest College, IL in the late 1920s. During his time at Allegheny he was managing editor of the College’s Campus Magazine. In the late 1930s he became involved in theatrical stage design and is known to have created the sets for Edgar Wallace’s On the Spot at the Pittsburgh Playhouse in March 1936 and the WPA Federal Theater’s production of George Bernard Shaw’s On the Rocks, which had a five month run on Broadway from June 1938. By 1940 Schruers had established his own architectural practice in New Hope, PA. After wartime service as an officer in the US Naval Reserve, he emigrated to Brazil in 1946, eventually returning to the California in the early 1950s. He subsequently established an architectural practice in Berkeley where he designed several local offices & commercial projects, the most distinctive of which is probably the “lift-slab” Tioga Building, 2020 Milvia Street, originally constructed in 1952. Schruers died in California in March 1994.

His 1934-1949 correspondence with the Boston Merrymount Press regarding this Harvard Map is preserved in the Merrymount Press Archives in the Huntingdon Library.

Refs: David Rumsey Collection; Schruers Correspondence (Group 2195), Merrymount Press Archives, Huntingdon Library