Skip to Content

Visual Resources Center

Mission

The mission of the Roger Williams University Visual Resources Center (VRC) is to support the curriculum at RWU by preserving and providing access to high quality digital images for classroom instruction and research. The primary goal of the Visual Resources Library is to support the image needs of Roger Williams University faculty and students. The VRC strives to encourage digital scholarship and visual literacy through the development of digital image collections and exhibitions.

Overview

A division of the Roger Williams University Library, the Visual Resources Center (VRC) is located in the Architecture Library on the first floor of the School of Architecture, Art & Historic Preservation. The VRC collects digital images and has a 35mm slide collection on site. Managing a collection of over 100,000 digital images, the VRC provides access to high quality digital images for classroom instruction and research through Artstor. While the collection is comprised largely of art history and architecture images, the VRC serves all of Roger Williams University and welcomes image requests from all departments.

Services

The VRC has available equipment for image capture and reproduction. Digital imaging services are offered, which allows faculty to order digital images not available from the VRC’s image collections. Faculty can submit orders to the Visual Resources Staff via email or attach it to the source book, and bring it to the circulation desk in the Architecture Library. The images will be processed in 1 week or less (depending on size of order) and delivered to the faculty member in the format requested. If the image requested is for publication, the VRC is not responsible for obtaining appropriate usage rights for the image and will aid in the digitization only.

In-class instruction sessions, instructing students on how to find, cite and use images in their scholarly work are available. To schedule a session, please contact Instructional Services Librarian, Barbara Kenney.

Imaging Services (available to RWU faculty):

  • Digitization of print material for classroom instruction and publication (Not responsible for obtaining usage rights)
  • Digital conversion of 35mm instructional slides
  • Image research and acquisition
  • Location photography
  • Request images

Research Assistance (available to RWU faculty & students):

  • Access to digital image resources
  • Guide on how to “How to Research Images”
  • Ask a librarian
  • Set up a research consultation

Instruction Services:

  • In-class instruction sessions (Email request to the Instructional Services Librarian, Barbara Kenney)

 

Download the Digital Image Order Form

Visit the Image Collections

Schedule an in-class instruction session

 

RWU Image Collection: Sample

339340_Norman Lykes House, Frank Lloyd Wright,1959-1968
339341_Norman Lykes House, Frank Lloyd Wright,1959-1968
339379_Nathan G. Moore House, Frank Lloyd Wright,1895
339397_"Grandma House," Harold Price Sr. House, Frank Lloyd Wright,1954
340353_First Christian Church, Frank Lloyd Wright, 1950-77
south elevation of Aztec Room (adjacent to entry)
east elevation of main block
Blithewold Mansion and Gardens,
Bristol, Rhode Island,
Designed by the architectural firm Kilham and Hopkins,
1907.

The original Blithewold was a large, shingled, Queen Anne style mansion. The 45-room mansion was furnished with beautiful antiques and fine reproduction furniture. The photograph shown at the right was taken in 1901, five years before the mansion was destroyed by fire. 

The second Blithewold was much grander, designed by the Boston architectural firm of Kilham and Hopkins. Walter Kilham was a close friend of the McKees, and his partner, James Hopkins, spent part of each year in England where he witnessed the English Arts and Crafts Movement first hand. The English Country Manor style was revitalized as part of the Movement, and Hopkins embraced the design as desirable for the wealthy classes of America. These houses, typically, were built of rough stone, with steep pitched roofs and medieval ornamentation. The loggia of Blithewold, which faces Narragansett Bay, has carved crests and gargoyles, and is a copy of the 13th century loggia at Cranborne Manor in Dorset, England.

The family loved outdoor pursuits, and the very architecture of the mansion ensures that its occupants are constantly aware of their magnificent surroundings. The house is long and narrow, built on a north-south axis, so that all the main rooms face west to the water. There appears to have been a deliberate attempt to ‘bring the outdoors in’ with French doors leading out to terraces, porches, loggias and sleeping-porches, and large windows which frame the glorious sunsets at Blithewold.

The center hall and staircase of the house are designed in the Colonial Revival style. This design was based on the Georgian style, popular in the English colonies of America in the mid-18th century. Typical are the elaborate ceilings in all the main rooms of the ground floor. Also characteristic of the Colonial Revival style are the fluted columns, dentil moldings, and volutes in the Entrance Hall, and the three different patterns of balusters on the stairway. The new Blithewold had electricity and coal-fired central heating, taking advantage of modern technology.

We know from photographs that the furniture in each room remains as Bessie McKee arranged it before 1910. She mixed decorative styles freely, emphasizing elegance, comfort, and informality. The Breton Bed Box in the Entrance Hall is a fine 18th century antique, and the carved oak table in the center of the hall is a reproduction in the Renaissance style, dating from the late 1800s. The oldest pieces in the house are the Italian oak and leather armchairs in the Billiard Room, which were made in the early 1600s. Some of the furniture was made especially for the family. The Dining Room furniture, for example, is of oak, made for the Van Wickles in the 1890s in a Baroque style. Several of the chairs were made of oak cut from the Blithewold gardens, and were marked with a Blithewold crest. The wedding chest in Marjorie’s bedroom was also made from Blithewold oak. The Master Bedroom furniture is 19th century Dutch and Italian marquetry.

Almost all the rooms are decorated with the original wallpaper, the only exceptions being two bedrooms, which have been re-papered with fine quality reproductions of the originals. The walls in the Master Bedroom show a Dutch village scene, hand-painted on canvas-backed wallpaper. The Dining Room Collection includes Baccarat crystal, Gorham silver and more than 30 sets of fine china which are displayed in the Butler’s Pantry. There are several Tiffany lamps, an extensive doll collection, and original hand-embroidered linens, as well as souvenirs from the family’s world travels.

Archival collections are stored on the third floor of the mansion (originally guest quarters). They represent many aspects of the lives of Blithewold family members over a span of 150 years, including their domestic lives, education, travels, recreation, gardens, and pets. The guest books are full of drawings, amusing stories, paintings, and praise for Bessie and Marjorie’s renowned hospitality.

Thousands of letters to and from the family tell of their dreams and aspirations. There are letters documenting historic events, like the opening of the Van Wickle Gates at Brown University in 1901 and the Fitz-Randolph Van Wickle Gates at Princeton University in 1905, both presented and dedicated by Bessie and Marjorie. Diaries document events of the day, social and historical occasions, progress in the gardens, and relationships within the extended family.

source: www.blithewold.org/
Blithewold Mansion and Gardens,
Bristol, Rhode Island,
Designed by the architectural firm Kilham and Hopkins,
1907.

The original Blithewold was a large, shingled, Queen Anne style mansion. The 45-room mansion was furnished with beautiful antiques and fine reproduction furniture. The photograph shown at the right was taken in 1901, five years before the mansion was destroyed by fire. 

The second Blithewold was much grander, designed by the Boston architectural firm of Kilham and Hopkins. Walter Kilham was a close friend of the McKees, and his partner, James Hopkins, spent part of each year in England where he witnessed the English Arts and Crafts Movement first hand. The English Country Manor style was revitalized as part of the Movement, and Hopkins embraced the design as desirable for the wealthy classes of America. These houses, typically, were built of rough stone, with steep pitched roofs and medieval ornamentation. The loggia of Blithewold, which faces Narragansett Bay, has carved crests and gargoyles, and is a copy of the 13th century loggia at Cranborne Manor in Dorset, England.

The family loved outdoor pursuits, and the very architecture of the mansion ensures that its occupants are constantly aware of their magnificent surroundings. The house is long and narrow, built on a north-south axis, so that all the main rooms face west to the water. There appears to have been a deliberate attempt to ‘bring the outdoors in’ with French doors leading out to terraces, porches, loggias and sleeping-porches, and large windows which frame the glorious sunsets at Blithewold.

The center hall and staircase of the house are designed in the Colonial Revival style. This design was based on the Georgian style, popular in the English colonies of America in the mid-18th century. Typical are the elaborate ceilings in all the main rooms of the ground floor. Also characteristic of the Colonial Revival style are the fluted columns, dentil moldings, and volutes in the Entrance Hall, and the three different patterns of balusters on the stairway. The new Blithewold had electricity and coal-fired central heating, taking advantage of modern technology.

We know from photographs that the furniture in each room remains as Bessie McKee arranged it before 1910. She mixed decorative styles freely, emphasizing elegance, comfort, and informality. The Breton Bed Box in the Entrance Hall is a fine 18th century antique, and the carved oak table in the center of the hall is a reproduction in the Renaissance style, dating from the late 1800s. The oldest pieces in the house are the Italian oak and leather armchairs in the Billiard Room, which were made in the early 1600s. Some of the furniture was made especially for the family. The Dining Room furniture, for example, is of oak, made for the Van Wickles in the 1890s in a Baroque style. Several of the chairs were made of oak cut from the Blithewold gardens, and were marked with a Blithewold crest. The wedding chest in Marjorie’s bedroom was also made from Blithewold oak. The Master Bedroom furniture is 19th century Dutch and Italian marquetry.

Almost all the rooms are decorated with the original wallpaper, the only exceptions being two bedrooms, which have been re-papered with fine quality reproductions of the originals. The walls in the Master Bedroom show a Dutch village scene, hand-painted on canvas-backed wallpaper. The Dining Room Collection includes Baccarat crystal, Gorham silver and more than 30 sets of fine china which are displayed in the Butler’s Pantry. There are several Tiffany lamps, an extensive doll collection, and original hand-embroidered linens, as well as souvenirs from the family’s world travels.

Archival collections are stored on the third floor of the mansion (originally guest quarters). They represent many aspects of the lives of Blithewold family members over a span of 150 years, including their domestic lives, education, travels, recreation, gardens, and pets. The guest books are full of drawings, amusing stories, paintings, and praise for Bessie and Marjorie’s renowned hospitality.

Thousands of letters to and from the family tell of their dreams and aspirations. There are letters documenting historic events, like the opening of the Van Wickle Gates at Brown University in 1901 and the Fitz-Randolph Van Wickle Gates at Princeton University in 1905, both presented and dedicated by Bessie and Marjorie. Diaries document events of the day, social and historical occasions, progress in the gardens, and relationships within the extended family.

source: www.blithewold.org/
Blithewold Mansion and Gardens,
Bristol, Rhode Island,
Designed by the architectural firm Kilham and Hopkins,
1907.

The original Blithewold was a large, shingled, Queen Anne style mansion. The 45-room mansion was furnished with beautiful antiques and fine reproduction furniture. The photograph shown at the right was taken in 1901, five years before the mansion was destroyed by fire. 

The second Blithewold was much grander, designed by the Boston architectural firm of Kilham and Hopkins. Walter Kilham was a close friend of the McKees, and his partner, James Hopkins, spent part of each year in England where he witnessed the English Arts and Crafts Movement first hand. The English Country Manor style was revitalized as part of the Movement, and Hopkins embraced the design as desirable for the wealthy classes of America. These houses, typically, were built of rough stone, with steep pitched roofs and medieval ornamentation. The loggia of Blithewold, which faces Narragansett Bay, has carved crests and gargoyles, and is a copy of the 13th century loggia at Cranborne Manor in Dorset, England.

The family loved outdoor pursuits, and the very architecture of the mansion ensures that its occupants are constantly aware of their magnificent surroundings. The house is long and narrow, built on a north-south axis, so that all the main rooms face west to the water. There appears to have been a deliberate attempt to ‘bring the outdoors in’ with French doors leading out to terraces, porches, loggias and sleeping-porches, and large windows which frame the glorious sunsets at Blithewold.

The center hall and staircase of the house are designed in the Colonial Revival style. This design was based on the Georgian style, popular in the English colonies of America in the mid-18th century. Typical are the elaborate ceilings in all the main rooms of the ground floor. Also characteristic of the Colonial Revival style are the fluted columns, dentil moldings, and volutes in the Entrance Hall, and the three different patterns of balusters on the stairway. The new Blithewold had electricity and coal-fired central heating, taking advantage of modern technology.

We know from photographs that the furniture in each room remains as Bessie McKee arranged it before 1910. She mixed decorative styles freely, emphasizing elegance, comfort, and informality. The Breton Bed Box in the Entrance Hall is a fine 18th century antique, and the carved oak table in the center of the hall is a reproduction in the Renaissance style, dating from the late 1800s. The oldest pieces in the house are the Italian oak and leather armchairs in the Billiard Room, which were made in the early 1600s. Some of the furniture was made especially for the family. The Dining Room furniture, for example, is of oak, made for the Van Wickles in the 1890s in a Baroque style. Several of the chairs were made of oak cut from the Blithewold gardens, and were marked with a Blithewold crest. The wedding chest in Marjorie’s bedroom was also made from Blithewold oak. The Master Bedroom furniture is 19th century Dutch and Italian marquetry.

Almost all the rooms are decorated with the original wallpaper, the only exceptions being two bedrooms, which have been re-papered with fine quality reproductions of the originals. The walls in the Master Bedroom show a Dutch village scene, hand-painted on canvas-backed wallpaper. The Dining Room Collection includes Baccarat crystal, Gorham silver and more than 30 sets of fine china which are displayed in the Butler’s Pantry. There are several Tiffany lamps, an extensive doll collection, and original hand-embroidered linens, as well as souvenirs from the family’s world travels.

Archival collections are stored on the third floor of the mansion (originally guest quarters). They represent many aspects of the lives of Blithewold family members over a span of 150 years, including their domestic lives, education, travels, recreation, gardens, and pets. The guest books are full of drawings, amusing stories, paintings, and praise for Bessie and Marjorie’s renowned hospitality.

Thousands of letters to and from the family tell of their dreams and aspirations. There are letters documenting historic events, like the opening of the Van Wickle Gates at Brown University in 1901 and the Fitz-Randolph Van Wickle Gates at Princeton University in 1905, both presented and dedicated by Bessie and Marjorie. Diaries document events of the day, social and historical occasions, progress in the gardens, and relationships within the extended family.

source: www.blithewold.org/
Blithewold Mansion and Gardens,
Bristol, Rhode Island,
Designed by the architectural firm Kilham and Hopkins,
1907.

The original Blithewold was a large, shingled, Queen Anne style mansion. The 45-room mansion was furnished with beautiful antiques and fine reproduction furniture. The photograph shown at the right was taken in 1901, five years before the mansion was destroyed by fire. 

The second Blithewold was much grander, designed by the Boston architectural firm of Kilham and Hopkins. Walter Kilham was a close friend of the McKees, and his partner, James Hopkins, spent part of each year in England where he witnessed the English Arts and Crafts Movement first hand. The English Country Manor style was revitalized as part of the Movement, and Hopkins embraced the design as desirable for the wealthy classes of America. These houses, typically, were built of rough stone, with steep pitched roofs and medieval ornamentation. The loggia of Blithewold, which faces Narragansett Bay, has carved crests and gargoyles, and is a copy of the 13th century loggia at Cranborne Manor in Dorset, England.

The family loved outdoor pursuits, and the very architecture of the mansion ensures that its occupants are constantly aware of their magnificent surroundings. The house is long and narrow, built on a north-south axis, so that all the main rooms face west to the water. There appears to have been a deliberate attempt to ‘bring the outdoors in’ with French doors leading out to terraces, porches, loggias and sleeping-porches, and large windows which frame the glorious sunsets at Blithewold.

The center hall and staircase of the house are designed in the Colonial Revival style. This design was based on the Georgian style, popular in the English colonies of America in the mid-18th century. Typical are the elaborate ceilings in all the main rooms of the ground floor. Also characteristic of the Colonial Revival style are the fluted columns, dentil moldings, and volutes in the Entrance Hall, and the three different patterns of balusters on the stairway. The new Blithewold had electricity and coal-fired central heating, taking advantage of modern technology.

We know from photographs that the furniture in each room remains as Bessie McKee arranged it before 1910. She mixed decorative styles freely, emphasizing elegance, comfort, and informality. The Breton Bed Box in the Entrance Hall is a fine 18th century antique, and the carved oak table in the center of the hall is a reproduction in the Renaissance style, dating from the late 1800s. The oldest pieces in the house are the Italian oak and leather armchairs in the Billiard Room, which were made in the early 1600s. Some of the furniture was made especially for the family. The Dining Room furniture, for example, is of oak, made for the Van Wickles in the 1890s in a Baroque style. Several of the chairs were made of oak cut from the Blithewold gardens, and were marked with a Blithewold crest. The wedding chest in Marjorie’s bedroom was also made from Blithewold oak. The Master Bedroom furniture is 19th century Dutch and Italian marquetry.

Almost all the rooms are decorated with the original wallpaper, the only exceptions being two bedrooms, which have been re-papered with fine quality reproductions of the originals. The walls in the Master Bedroom show a Dutch village scene, hand-painted on canvas-backed wallpaper. The Dining Room Collection includes Baccarat crystal, Gorham silver and more than 30 sets of fine china which are displayed in the Butler’s Pantry. There are several Tiffany lamps, an extensive doll collection, and original hand-embroidered linens, as well as souvenirs from the family’s world travels.

Archival collections are stored on the third floor of the mansion (originally guest quarters). They represent many aspects of the lives of Blithewold family members over a span of 150 years, including their domestic lives, education, travels, recreation, gardens, and pets. The guest books are full of drawings, amusing stories, paintings, and praise for Bessie and Marjorie’s renowned hospitality.

Thousands of letters to and from the family tell of their dreams and aspirations. There are letters documenting historic events, like the opening of the Van Wickle Gates at Brown University in 1901 and the Fitz-Randolph Van Wickle Gates at Princeton University in 1905, both presented and dedicated by Bessie and Marjorie. Diaries document events of the day, social and historical occasions, progress in the gardens, and relationships within the extended family.

source: www.blithewold.org/
Blithewold Mansion and Gardens,
Bristol, Rhode Island,
Designed by the architectural firm Kilham and Hopkins,
1907.

The original Blithewold was a large, shingled, Queen Anne style mansion. The 45-room mansion was furnished with beautiful antiques and fine reproduction furniture. The photograph shown at the right was taken in 1901, five years before the mansion was destroyed by fire. 

The second Blithewold was much grander, designed by the Boston architectural firm of Kilham and Hopkins. Walter Kilham was a close friend of the McKees, and his partner, James Hopkins, spent part of each year in England where he witnessed the English Arts and Crafts Movement first hand. The English Country Manor style was revitalized as part of the Movement, and Hopkins embraced the design as desirable for the wealthy classes of America. These houses, typically, were built of rough stone, with steep pitched roofs and medieval ornamentation. The loggia of Blithewold, which faces Narragansett Bay, has carved crests and gargoyles, and is a copy of the 13th century loggia at Cranborne Manor in Dorset, England.

The family loved outdoor pursuits, and the very architecture of the mansion ensures that its occupants are constantly aware of their magnificent surroundings. The house is long and narrow, built on a north-south axis, so that all the main rooms face west to the water. There appears to have been a deliberate attempt to ‘bring the outdoors in’ with French doors leading out to terraces, porches, loggias and sleeping-porches, and large windows which frame the glorious sunsets at Blithewold.

The center hall and staircase of the house are designed in the Colonial Revival style. This design was based on the Georgian style, popular in the English colonies of America in the mid-18th century. Typical are the elaborate ceilings in all the main rooms of the ground floor. Also characteristic of the Colonial Revival style are the fluted columns, dentil moldings, and volutes in the Entrance Hall, and the three different patterns of balusters on the stairway. The new Blithewold had electricity and coal-fired central heating, taking advantage of modern technology.

We know from photographs that the furniture in each room remains as Bessie McKee arranged it before 1910. She mixed decorative styles freely, emphasizing elegance, comfort, and informality. The Breton Bed Box in the Entrance Hall is a fine 18th century antique, and the carved oak table in the center of the hall is a reproduction in the Renaissance style, dating from the late 1800s. The oldest pieces in the house are the Italian oak and leather armchairs in the Billiard Room, which were made in the early 1600s. Some of the furniture was made especially for the family. The Dining Room furniture, for example, is of oak, made for the Van Wickles in the 1890s in a Baroque style. Several of the chairs were made of oak cut from the Blithewold gardens, and were marked with a Blithewold crest. The wedding chest in Marjorie’s bedroom was also made from Blithewold oak. The Master Bedroom furniture is 19th century Dutch and Italian marquetry.

Almost all the rooms are decorated with the original wallpaper, the only exceptions being two bedrooms, which have been re-papered with fine quality reproductions of the originals. The walls in the Master Bedroom show a Dutch village scene, hand-painted on canvas-backed wallpaper. The Dining Room Collection includes Baccarat crystal, Gorham silver and more than 30 sets of fine china which are displayed in the Butler’s Pantry. There are several Tiffany lamps, an extensive doll collection, and original hand-embroidered linens, as well as souvenirs from the family’s world travels.

Archival collections are stored on the third floor of the mansion (originally guest quarters). They represent many aspects of the lives of Blithewold family members over a span of 150 years, including their domestic lives, education, travels, recreation, gardens, and pets. The guest books are full of drawings, amusing stories, paintings, and praise for Bessie and Marjorie’s renowned hospitality.

Thousands of letters to and from the family tell of their dreams and aspirations. There are letters documenting historic events, like the opening of the Van Wickle Gates at Brown University in 1901 and the Fitz-Randolph Van Wickle Gates at Princeton University in 1905, both presented and dedicated by Bessie and Marjorie. Diaries document events of the day, social and historical occasions, progress in the gardens, and relationships within the extended family.

source: www.blithewold.org/
Blithewold Mansion and Gardens,
Bristol, Rhode Island,
John DeWolf ,
started in early 1890's

Blithewold, located in Bristol, RI, is 33 acres of lawns, gardens, specimen trees, and historic stone structures. Walking the grounds, you may be drawn to the cool shade of the Bosquet (“enclosed woodland”), enjoy the solitude of the Water Garden, absorb the history of the Enclosed Garden, or be dazzled by the abundance of the Display Gardens.

You’ll surely notice the sweeping 10 acre Great Lawn and views to Narragansett Bay—the perfect setting for over 500 different kinds of trees and shrubs. Taking full advantage of the stunning water views and country setting, Landscape Architect John DeWolf designed the landscape starting in the early 1890s in an informal style with touches of formal elements.

When walking the grounds today, you will be drawn in by the marriage of historic and modern gardening. In August 1926, Ernest “Chinese” Wilson and Alfred Rehder visited Blithewold and to the owners’ delight these eminent plantsmen from the Arnold Arboretum were awestruck by the variety of plants they found. In a letter to her daughter about the visit, Bessie Van Wickle McKee wrote, “They were frankly amazed to find so lovely and interesting place here and kept saying, ‘Why you have… an arboretum here; we never dreamed there was a place like this’.”

The Great Lawn sets the stage for all the surrounding gardens:

    * the Rock Garden located within yards of the shore;
    * the more formal North Garden whose lush, deep borders are the background for weddings  and other social functions;
    * the Rose Garden where a centenarian Chestnut Rose dominates;
    * the Enclosed Garden with its undulating lawn, curved pathways, and Summerhouse that looks out on one of the tallest Giant Sequoias on the east coast;
    * and finally the gravel lane, once the service road to the dock, is yet another shaded, leafy walk to the Bay.

source: www.blithewold.org/
Blithewold Mansion and Gardens,
Bristol, Rhode Island,
John DeWolf ,
started in early 1890's

Blithewold, located in Bristol, RI, is 33 acres of lawns, gardens, specimen trees, and historic stone structures. Walking the grounds, you may be drawn to the cool shade of the Bosquet (“enclosed woodland”), enjoy the solitude of the Water Garden, absorb the history of the Enclosed Garden, or be dazzled by the abundance of the Display Gardens.

You’ll surely notice the sweeping 10 acre Great Lawn and views to Narragansett Bay—the perfect setting for over 500 different kinds of trees and shrubs. Taking full advantage of the stunning water views and country setting, Landscape Architect John DeWolf designed the landscape starting in the early 1890s in an informal style with touches of formal elements.

When walking the grounds today, you will be drawn in by the marriage of historic and modern gardening. In August 1926, Ernest “Chinese” Wilson and Alfred Rehder visited Blithewold and to the owners’ delight these eminent plantsmen from the Arnold Arboretum were awestruck by the variety of plants they found. In a letter to her daughter about the visit, Bessie Van Wickle McKee wrote, “They were frankly amazed to find so lovely and interesting place here and kept saying, ‘Why you have… an arboretum here; we never dreamed there was a place like this’.”

The Great Lawn sets the stage for all the surrounding gardens:

    * the Rock Garden located within yards of the shore;
    * the more formal North Garden whose lush, deep borders are the background for weddings  and other social functions;
    * the Rose Garden where a centenarian Chestnut Rose dominates;
    * the Enclosed Garden with its undulating lawn, curved pathways, and Summerhouse that looks out on one of the tallest Giant Sequoias on the east coast;
    * and finally the gravel lane, once the service road to the dock, is yet another shaded, leafy walk to the Bay.

source: www.blithewold.org/
Blithewold Mansion and Gardens,
Bristol, Rhode Island,
Designed by the architectural firm Kilham and Hopkins,
1907.

The original Blithewold was a large, shingled, Queen Anne style mansion. The 45-room mansion was furnished with beautiful antiques and fine reproduction furniture. The photograph shown at the right was taken in 1901, five years before the mansion was destroyed by fire. 

The second Blithewold was much grander, designed by the Boston architectural firm of Kilham and Hopkins. Walter Kilham was a close friend of the McKees, and his partner, James Hopkins, spent part of each year in England where he witnessed the English Arts and Crafts Movement first hand. The English Country Manor style was revitalized as part of the Movement, and Hopkins embraced the design as desirable for the wealthy classes of America. These houses, typically, were built of rough stone, with steep pitched roofs and medieval ornamentation. The loggia of Blithewold, which faces Narragansett Bay, has carved crests and gargoyles, and is a copy of the 13th century loggia at Cranborne Manor in Dorset, England.

The family loved outdoor pursuits, and the very architecture of the mansion ensures that its occupants are constantly aware of their magnificent surroundings. The house is long and narrow, built on a north-south axis, so that all the main rooms face west to the water. There appears to have been a deliberate attempt to ‘bring the outdoors in’ with French doors leading out to terraces, porches, loggias and sleeping-porches, and large windows which frame the glorious sunsets at Blithewold.

The center hall and staircase of the house are designed in the Colonial Revival style. This design was based on the Georgian style, popular in the English colonies of America in the mid-18th century. Typical are the elaborate ceilings in all the main rooms of the ground floor. Also characteristic of the Colonial Revival style are the fluted columns, dentil moldings, and volutes in the Entrance Hall, and the three different patterns of balusters on the stairway. The new Blithewold had electricity and coal-fired central heating, taking advantage of modern technology.

We know from photographs that the furniture in each room remains as Bessie McKee arranged it before 1910. She mixed decorative styles freely, emphasizing elegance, comfort, and informality. The Breton Bed Box in the Entrance Hall is a fine 18th century antique, and the carved oak table in the center of the hall is a reproduction in the Renaissance style, dating from the late 1800s. The oldest pieces in the house are the Italian oak and leather armchairs in the Billiard Room, which were made in the early 1600s. Some of the furniture was made especially for the family. The Dining Room furniture, for example, is of oak, made for the Van Wickles in the 1890s in a Baroque style. Several of the chairs were made of oak cut from the Blithewold gardens, and were marked with a Blithewold crest. The wedding chest in Marjorie’s bedroom was also made from Blithewold oak. The Master Bedroom furniture is 19th century Dutch and Italian marquetry.

Almost all the rooms are decorated with the original wallpaper, the only exceptions being two bedrooms, which have been re-papered with fine quality reproductions of the originals. The walls in the Master Bedroom show a Dutch village scene, hand-painted on canvas-backed wallpaper. The Dining Room Collection includes Baccarat crystal, Gorham silver and more than 30 sets of fine china which are displayed in the Butler’s Pantry. There are several Tiffany lamps, an extensive doll collection, and original hand-embroidered linens, as well as souvenirs from the family’s world travels.

Archival collections are stored on the third floor of the mansion (originally guest quarters). They represent many aspects of the lives of Blithewold family members over a span of 150 years, including their domestic lives, education, travels, recreation, gardens, and pets. The guest books are full of drawings, amusing stories, paintings, and praise for Bessie and Marjorie’s renowned hospitality.

Thousands of letters to and from the family tell of their dreams and aspirations. There are letters documenting historic events, like the opening of the Van Wickle Gates at Brown University in 1901 and the Fitz-Randolph Van Wickle Gates at Princeton University in 1905, both presented and dedicated by Bessie and Marjorie. Diaries document events of the day, social and historical occasions, progress in the gardens, and relationships within the extended family.

source: www.blithewold.org/
Blithewold Mansion and Gardens,
Bristol, Rhode Island,
John DeWolf ,
started in early 1890's

Blithewold, located in Bristol, RI, is 33 acres of lawns, gardens, specimen trees, and historic stone structures. Walking the grounds, you may be drawn to the cool shade of the Bosquet (“enclosed woodland”), enjoy the solitude of the Water Garden, absorb the history of the Enclosed Garden, or be dazzled by the abundance of the Display Gardens.

You’ll surely notice the sweeping 10 acre Great Lawn and views to Narragansett Bay—the perfect setting for over 500 different kinds of trees and shrubs. Taking full advantage of the stunning water views and country setting, Landscape Architect John DeWolf designed the landscape starting in the early 1890s in an informal style with touches of formal elements.

When walking the grounds today, you will be drawn in by the marriage of historic and modern gardening. In August 1926, Ernest “Chinese” Wilson and Alfred Rehder visited Blithewold and to the owners’ delight these eminent plantsmen from the Arnold Arboretum were awestruck by the variety of plants they found. In a letter to her daughter about the visit, Bessie Van Wickle McKee wrote, “They were frankly amazed to find so lovely and interesting place here and kept saying, ‘Why you have… an arboretum here; we never dreamed there was a place like this’.”

The Great Lawn sets the stage for all the surrounding gardens:

    * the Rock Garden located within yards of the shore;
    * the more formal North Garden whose lush, deep borders are the background for weddings  and other social functions;
    * the Rose Garden where a centenarian Chestnut Rose dominates;
    * the Enclosed Garden with its undulating lawn, curved pathways, and Summerhouse that looks out on one of the tallest Giant Sequoias on the east coast;
    * and finally the gravel lane, once the service road to the dock, is yet another shaded, leafy walk to the Bay.

source: www.blithewold.org/
Blithewold Mansion and Gardens,
Bristol, Rhode Island,
Designed by the architectural firm Kilham and Hopkins,
1907.

The original Blithewold was a large, shingled, Queen Anne style mansion. The 45-room mansion was furnished with beautiful antiques and fine reproduction furniture. The photograph shown at the right was taken in 1901, five years before the mansion was destroyed by fire. 

The second Blithewold was much grander, designed by the Boston architectural firm of Kilham and Hopkins. Walter Kilham was a close friend of the McKees, and his partner, James Hopkins, spent part of each year in England where he witnessed the English Arts and Crafts Movement first hand. The English Country Manor style was revitalized as part of the Movement, and Hopkins embraced the design as desirable for the wealthy classes of America. These houses, typically, were built of rough stone, with steep pitched roofs and medieval ornamentation. The loggia of Blithewold, which faces Narragansett Bay, has carved crests and gargoyles, and is a copy of the 13th century loggia at Cranborne Manor in Dorset, England.

The family loved outdoor pursuits, and the very architecture of the mansion ensures that its occupants are constantly aware of their magnificent surroundings. The house is long and narrow, built on a north-south axis, so that all the main rooms face west to the water. There appears to have been a deliberate attempt to ‘bring the outdoors in’ with French doors leading out to terraces, porches, loggias and sleeping-porches, and large windows which frame the glorious sunsets at Blithewold.

The center hall and staircase of the house are designed in the Colonial Revival style. This design was based on the Georgian style, popular in the English colonies of America in the mid-18th century. Typical are the elaborate ceilings in all the main rooms of the ground floor. Also characteristic of the Colonial Revival style are the fluted columns, dentil moldings, and volutes in the Entrance Hall, and the three different patterns of balusters on the stairway. The new Blithewold had electricity and coal-fired central heating, taking advantage of modern technology.

We know from photographs that the furniture in each room remains as Bessie McKee arranged it before 1910. She mixed decorative styles freely, emphasizing elegance, comfort, and informality. The Breton Bed Box in the Entrance Hall is a fine 18th century antique, and the carved oak table in the center of the hall is a reproduction in the Renaissance style, dating from the late 1800s. The oldest pieces in the house are the Italian oak and leather armchairs in the Billiard Room, which were made in the early 1600s. Some of the furniture was made especially for the family. The Dining Room furniture, for example, is of oak, made for the Van Wickles in the 1890s in a Baroque style. Several of the chairs were made of oak cut from the Blithewold gardens, and were marked with a Blithewold crest. The wedding chest in Marjorie’s bedroom was also made from Blithewold oak. The Master Bedroom furniture is 19th century Dutch and Italian marquetry.

Almost all the rooms are decorated with the original wallpaper, the only exceptions being two bedrooms, which have been re-papered with fine quality reproductions of the originals. The walls in the Master Bedroom show a Dutch village scene, hand-painted on canvas-backed wallpaper. The Dining Room Collection includes Baccarat crystal, Gorham silver and more than 30 sets of fine china which are displayed in the Butler’s Pantry. There are several Tiffany lamps, an extensive doll collection, and original hand-embroidered linens, as well as souvenirs from the family’s world travels.

Archival collections are stored on the third floor of the mansion (originally guest quarters). They represent many aspects of the lives of Blithewold family members over a span of 150 years, including their domestic lives, education, travels, recreation, gardens, and pets. The guest books are full of drawings, amusing stories, paintings, and praise for Bessie and Marjorie’s renowned hospitality.

Thousands of letters to and from the family tell of their dreams and aspirations. There are letters documenting historic events, like the opening of the Van Wickle Gates at Brown University in 1901 and the Fitz-Randolph Van Wickle Gates at Princeton University in 1905, both presented and dedicated by Bessie and Marjorie. Diaries document events of the day, social and historical occasions, progress in the gardens, and relationships within the extended family.

source: www.blithewold.org/
Blithewold Mansion and Gardens,
Bristol, Rhode Island,
John DeWolf ,
started in early 1890's

Blithewold, located in Bristol, RI, is 33 acres of lawns, gardens, specimen trees, and historic stone structures. Walking the grounds, you may be drawn to the cool shade of the Bosquet (“enclosed woodland”), enjoy the solitude of the Water Garden, absorb the history of the Enclosed Garden, or be dazzled by the abundance of the Display Gardens.

You’ll surely notice the sweeping 10 acre Great Lawn and views to Narragansett Bay—the perfect setting for over 500 different kinds of trees and shrubs. Taking full advantage of the stunning water views and country setting, Landscape Architect John DeWolf designed the landscape starting in the early 1890s in an informal style with touches of formal elements.

When walking the grounds today, you will be drawn in by the marriage of historic and modern gardening. In August 1926, Ernest “Chinese” Wilson and Alfred Rehder visited Blithewold and to the owners’ delight these eminent plantsmen from the Arnold Arboretum were awestruck by the variety of plants they found. In a letter to her daughter about the visit, Bessie Van Wickle McKee wrote, “They were frankly amazed to find so lovely and interesting place here and kept saying, ‘Why you have… an arboretum here; we never dreamed there was a place like this’.”

The Great Lawn sets the stage for all the surrounding gardens:

    * the Rock Garden located within yards of the shore;
    * the more formal North Garden whose lush, deep borders are the background for weddings  and other social functions;
    * the Rose Garden where a centenarian Chestnut Rose dominates;
    * the Enclosed Garden with its undulating lawn, curved pathways, and Summerhouse that looks out on one of the tallest Giant Sequoias on the east coast;
    * and finally the gravel lane, once the service road to the dock, is yet another shaded, leafy walk to the Bay.

source: www.blithewold.org/
Blithewold Mansion and Gardens,
Bristol, Rhode Island,
Designed by the architectural firm Kilham and Hopkins,
1907.

The original Blithewold was a large, shingled, Queen Anne style mansion. The 45-room mansion was furnished with beautiful antiques and fine reproduction furniture. The photograph shown at the right was taken in 1901, five years before the mansion was destroyed by fire. 

The second Blithewold was much grander, designed by the Boston architectural firm of Kilham and Hopkins. Walter Kilham was a close friend of the McKees, and his partner, James Hopkins, spent part of each year in England where he witnessed the English Arts and Crafts Movement first hand. The English Country Manor style was revitalized as part of the Movement, and Hopkins embraced the design as desirable for the wealthy classes of America. These houses, typically, were built of rough stone, with steep pitched roofs and medieval ornamentation. The loggia of Blithewold, which faces Narragansett Bay, has carved crests and gargoyles, and is a copy of the 13th century loggia at Cranborne Manor in Dorset, England.

The family loved outdoor pursuits, and the very architecture of the mansion ensures that its occupants are constantly aware of their magnificent surroundings. The house is long and narrow, built on a north-south axis, so that all the main rooms face west to the water. There appears to have been a deliberate attempt to ‘bring the outdoors in’ with French doors leading out to terraces, porches, loggias and sleeping-porches, and large windows which frame the glorious sunsets at Blithewold.

The center hall and staircase of the house are designed in the Colonial Revival style. This design was based on the Georgian style, popular in the English colonies of America in the mid-18th century. Typical are the elaborate ceilings in all the main rooms of the ground floor. Also characteristic of the Colonial Revival style are the fluted columns, dentil moldings, and volutes in the Entrance Hall, and the three different patterns of balusters on the stairway. The new Blithewold had electricity and coal-fired central heating, taking advantage of modern technology.

We know from photographs that the furniture in each room remains as Bessie McKee arranged it before 1910. She mixed decorative styles freely, emphasizing elegance, comfort, and informality. The Breton Bed Box in the Entrance Hall is a fine 18th century antique, and the carved oak table in the center of the hall is a reproduction in the Renaissance style, dating from the late 1800s. The oldest pieces in the house are the Italian oak and leather armchairs in the Billiard Room, which were made in the early 1600s. Some of the furniture was made especially for the family. The Dining Room furniture, for example, is of oak, made for the Van Wickles in the 1890s in a Baroque style. Several of the chairs were made of oak cut from the Blithewold gardens, and were marked with a Blithewold crest. The wedding chest in Marjorie’s bedroom was also made from Blithewold oak. The Master Bedroom furniture is 19th century Dutch and Italian marquetry.

Almost all the rooms are decorated with the original wallpaper, the only exceptions being two bedrooms, which have been re-papered with fine quality reproductions of the originals. The walls in the Master Bedroom show a Dutch village scene, hand-painted on canvas-backed wallpaper. The Dining Room Collection includes Baccarat crystal, Gorham silver and more than 30 sets of fine china which are displayed in the Butler’s Pantry. There are several Tiffany lamps, an extensive doll collection, and original hand-embroidered linens, as well as souvenirs from the family’s world travels.

Archival collections are stored on the third floor of the mansion (originally guest quarters). They represent many aspects of the lives of Blithewold family members over a span of 150 years, including their domestic lives, education, travels, recreation, gardens, and pets. The guest books are full of drawings, amusing stories, paintings, and praise for Bessie and Marjorie’s renowned hospitality.

Thousands of letters to and from the family tell of their dreams and aspirations. There are letters documenting historic events, like the opening of the Van Wickle Gates at Brown University in 1901 and the Fitz-Randolph Van Wickle Gates at Princeton University in 1905, both presented and dedicated by Bessie and Marjorie. Diaries document events of the day, social and historical occasions, progress in the gardens, and relationships within the extended family.

source: www.blithewold.org/
from west
rain scupper at west side
tower from east
335402_Villa Schwob, Le Corbusier,1916
335231_Petersdorff Department Store,Erich Mendelsohn, 1927-28
335221_Einstein Tower,Erich Mendelsohn,1919-24
335219_Einstein Tower,Erich Mendelsohn,1919-24
southwest chapel vault
windows, south wall
courtyard from roof looking north
337040_Centre Le Corbusier (Heidi Weber Museum), Le Corbusier, 1961-65
337048_Centre Le Corbusier (Heidi Weber Museum), Le Corbusier, 1961-65
338960_Hall of Justice, Marin County Civic Center,Frank Lloyd Wright,1957-66