Mills College : Record of a Campus, by Roi Partridge, ca. 1940

Processed by Katherine Ruiz.
The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California 94720-6000

Mills College : Record of a Campus, by Roi Partridge, ca. 1940

BANC PIC 1984.014--ALB

The Bancroft Library

University of California

Berkeley, California 1997
Finding aid and digital representations of archival materials funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
    Processed and encoded by:
    California Heritage Digital Image Access Project staff in The Bancroft Library and The Library's Electronic Text Unit
    Digital images processed by:
    The Library Photographic Service
    Finding aid completed:
    March 1997
© 1997 The Regents of the University of California

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Mills College : Record of a Campus
Collection Number: BANC PIC 1984.014--ALB
Extent: 55 items, including 53 photographic prints, 1 map, and 1 postscript of text describing the collection, all mounted on boards in 1 box ; 8 x 10 in. photographs, 14 x 18 in. boards 53 digital objects
Photographer: Roi Partridge
Repository: The Bancroft Library. University of California, Berkeley.
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Languages Represented: English

Information for Researchers


Collection stored off-site. Advance notice required for use.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish photographs must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Pictorial Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
Copyright restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Mills College : Record of a Campus, BANC PIC 1984.014--ALB, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Digital Representations Available

Digital representations of selected original pictorial materials are available in the list of materials below. Digital image files were prepared from selected Library originals by the Library Photographic Service. Library originals were copied onto 35mm color transparency film; the film was scanned and transferred to Kodak Photo CD (by Custom Process); and the Photo CD files were color-corrected and saved in JFIF (JPEG) format for use as viewing files.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

The Mills College photographs were a gift of Roi Partridge in 1983.


Roi Partridge (George Roy Partridge) was born in 1888 in the Territory of Washington. After taking courses in art for a year or two, Partridge formed a group called "The Triad" with two classmates, John Davidson Butler and Clare Shepard. They visited museums together, studied art, and entered work in Seattle's Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, where Partridge won silver medals for his ceramics and black and white paintings. Partridge moved to New York City at the age of 20 and enrolled in the National Academy of Design. He was awarded the Academy's Suydam Silver Medal in 1910 for a still-life painting. In July of that year, he left for Europe with Butler and learned the art of etching in Munich. Partridge and Butler traveled to Italy and France, settling in Paris. Here Partridge could not afford formal classes but learned what he could from art books and magazines, drawing Parisian street scenes, cathedrals, bridges, and other picturesque landmarks in lieu of models. He himself turned to modeling to earn money, posing as St. Francis of Assisi and Jesus, complete with beard and crown of thorns.
Partridge's chosen art practice was etching, and despite the influence of Parisian modern art movements, he remained a conservative artist and skeptical of abstract art. Gradually his talents were recognized, and Partridge sold enough prints to allow him to remain in Paris for several more years. Partridge became a member of the Chicago Society of Etchers in 1913, where his friend Bertha Jaques had exhibited his work. Meanwhile, Partridge's friend Clare Shepard back in Seattle organized an exhibition of Partridge's etchings and drawings for the Seattle Fine Arts Society. She was assisted by Imogen Cunningham, whom Partridge married in 1915 after returning to the States in 1914; the couple soon had 3 sons. In February 1915, forty-two of Partridge's etchings were included in San Francisco's Panama-Pacific International Exposition.
In 1917 the Partridge family moved to Carmel and then San Francisco, California, allowing Partridge and Cunningham to enter new artistic circles, which included artists Maynard Dixon and Dorothea Lange (who were introduced by Partridge and later married), Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and Margarethe Mather. Partridge traveled extensively throughout the American West making prints, including the Pacific Northwest and the desert Southwest as well as California. He began to teach drawing and painting and was hired on at Mills College in 1920 where he also taught photography. In 1934, Partridge and Cunningham divorced. Partridge married Marion Meredith Lyman in 1937, a textile artist and photographer who died in 1940. In 1941 Partridge married May Ellen Fisher, with whom he remained for the rest of his life.
Partridge retired from Mills College in 1954, after a 34-year career there, in which he was appointed Department Chairman and the first director of the Art Gallery. From 1913 to 1953, Partridge's etchings were regularly exhibited in such places as the Chicago Society of Etchers, California Society of Etchers, National Academy of Design, the Library of Congress, and the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. Today his work is represented in the Mills College Art Gallery, the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, The Bancroft Library at U.C. Berkeley, The Oakland Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others. Partridge died in 1984.
(Source: White, Anthony R. The Graphic Art of Roi Partridge : A Catalogue Raisonne. Los Angeles : Hennessy & Ingalls, 1988.)

Scope and Content

This collection of Mills College photographs consists of 55 items (53 photographic prints) mounted on boards, taken by Roi Partridge, circa 1940. The other two items are a map of Mills based on a drawing, and a postscript describing the collection. The text of the postscript is as follows:
"The purpose of this group of photographs is to record the appearance -and still more, whenever it could be achieved, the mood and the charm -of a place upon whose ninety acres I have spent a large part of life and whose faculty, officers and students have been my friends. An attempt has been made to keep the record as nearly dateless as possible. For this reason, save in minor instances, the human occupants of this scene, with their ever changing costumes, have been intentionally omitted. --Photographs, lettering and map by Roi Partridge, who reserves all reproductive rights. The map based on a scale drawing by John Brown."
Images include a statue of a Chinese lion at the entrance to the art building, the art gallery, Olney Hall, the music building, Graduate House, Orchard Hall, Lisser Hall, the drama building, the gymnasium, Mills Hall, the library, the campanile, the science building, Ethel Moore Hall, Wetmore Gate, Lake Aliso, the Greek Theater, Chabot Observatory, and overviews of campus. Handwritten captions which appear below the photographs are reprinted in the container listing.

Container Listing


:1 Map of Mills College


:2 Title page. The Chinese lion.


:3 Art Building portico, with Eucalyptus trees. [Lacking]


:4 Art Building entrance - sunset


:5 Art gallery entrance, with pepper tree


:6 Shadow pattern in the art portico.


:7 Olney Hall, with elm bough


:8 Olney Hall - corner with gum trees. [Lacking]


:9 Olney Hall balcony, with apple tree.


:10 Memorial to the artist Anne M. Bremer, in Olney Court, by Edgar Walter. [Lacking]


:11 Music Building - entrance with Plane tree pattern.


:12 Music Building - entrance with Chinese Juniper.


:13 Music Building - south portal with Atlas cedar.


:14 Music Building - south portal with Plane tree leaves.


:15 Music Building - south end willow pattern.


:16 Pond by Music Building. [Lacking]


:17 President's cottage, with Elm tree in autumn. [Lacking]


:18 Graduate house, with Shen Yao.


:19 The halls and the hills.


:20 Orchard Hall - south entrance between two Lindew trees.


:21 A corner of Orchard Hall.


:22 Lisser Arches.


:23 Lisser Hall, with blanch of Manna gum.


:24 Lisser Hall in morning sunlight.


:25 Lisser Hall through leaning trees.


:26 Drama Building.


:27 Tall trees and tile roofs.


:28 Gymnasium, with Canary Island Palm.


:29 Gymnasium - Pergola pattern.


:30 Gymnasium - shadowed entrance.


:31 Mills Hall from across the oval.


:32 Mills Hall - summer


:33 Mills Hall - winter.


:34 Mills Hall - a corner with Fatsia leaves.


:35 Mills Hall - a somber mood.


:36 The library - entrance with elm leaves.


:37 Library balcony, with smiling girl.


:38 Old fountain by the library.


:39 Library fountain from the rear.


:40 The Campanile through Cypress branches.


:41 The Campanile - a close-up with Bay and Acacia trees.


:42 The old Science Building.


:43 Ethel Moore Hall, with Monterey Pines.


:44 Ethel Moore Court, with Poplar and Olive.


:45 Tall trees and Wetmore gate.


:46 View from near Wetmore gate.


:47 Bridle path around Lake Aliso.


:48 Blue-gum, Buckeye, Weeping Willow, Live Oak and Lake Aliso.


:49 Lake Aliso, through old Buckeye tree.


:50 Lake Aliso, with Pendant Buckeye.


:51 View from Pine top.


:52 Greek Theatre at Mills.


:53 Chabot Observatory.


:54 The Silver dome.


:55 Postscript.