These views are from the monumental work Picturesque California by San Francisco-based publisher James Dewing and edited by the famous naturalist John Muir. It was the first major illustrated work on the Far West produced primarily by westerners. Its exquisite illustrations were done by many of the country’s most esteemed artists using the most advanced printing processes and highest quality papers. One of the principal themes of Picturesque California was to emphasize the advancing civilization of the region and combat persistent notions of a lawless, uncivilized frontier among easterners. These views of the oldest women’s college west of the Rockies illustrate that perspective wonderfully. Each plate is on a full 18.2 x 12.7" sheet and is accompanied by the original tissue guard printed with title, artist, and a quote by Muir. The Mills College plate measures 9.8 x 6.9", and the Oakland and Lake Merritt plate measures 10.7 x 5.4".
Mills College by A.I. Keller. This fine photogravure depicts a group of young ladies playing croquet on the "more than eighty acres of lawn, garden, woodland and recreation grounds" of the campus.
Oakland and Lake Merritt photogravure from a drawing by C.D. Robinson shows the impressive city skyline from the vantage point of the hills of Piedmont.