‘Original’ Disneyland Map to Be Auctioned

An “original,” hand-drawn presentation map of Disneyland is one of nearly a thousand Disney-related artifacts to be auctioned on Sunday by Van Eaton Galleries. From the catalog:

This is the original presentation map of Disneyland that was created by Walt Disney and Herb Ryman in 1953. This map was then the main presentation piece for Roy Disney’s meetings with potential investors in New York, which succeeded in getting Disney the financing from ABC that was necessary to build Disneyland. This same map returned from New York and was displayed at the Disney Studio where it was used by Walt in numerous development meetings throughout the remainder of 1953 and into 1954. Later in 1954, this map received newly inked outlines and additional color, and was used as the first publicly released full-image of Disneyland. The significance of this map in the history of Disneyland cannot be overstated.

The auction ruffled a few feathers when it hit the news last month, partly because of media reports attributing the map to Disney himself, or calling it the original map, which it isn’t. Theme Park Insider notes that “[t]he original concept map of Disneyland, hand-drawn by Herb Ryman in 1953, sits safely in the archives of Walt Disney Imagineering. It’s not for sale and likely never will be.” A post on the Friends of The Walt Disney Family Museum Facebook page goes further, calling the map to be auctioned

a large-format photostat or brownline of Herb Ryman’s original drawing, which is safe and sound in the Walt Disney Imagineering Art Library. Dozens of these were made to pitch the Park to investors and participants. Shame on Van Eaton for knowingly misrepresenting a big photocopy as a valuable artifact worth a million dollars.

In a comment on that post, Van Eaton Galleries defended themselves by clarifying that the map being auctioned is the original presentation map, not Ryman’s original pencil drawing on vellum.

Vellum is a fragile paper, like a tracing paper. It’s not the kind of paper you would take to New York as your main presentation piece. What vellum is exceptionally good for though, is letting light through during the brownline process, as the “Disney historian” mentioned. The vellum pencil drawing was used to transfer the line work to this map, which was then hand colored, inked, mounted to a presentation board, and taken to New York by Roy Disney to pitch to ABC. The vellum pencil drawing was never intended to be the final product, otherwise Ryman would have drawn it directly onto a more durable paper for Roy to take. It was however, used to create the map that we are bringing to auction.

(The New York Times article on the auction was corrected to reflect that distinction. For other coverage, see ABC News and CNN, among many others.)

Update, 27 June: The map sold for $708,000 to an unknown buyer. ABC NewsBBC News.

Map Art Exhibition in Mumbai

Gulammohammed Sheikh, The Mappamundi suite 7. Distant Destinations II, 2004. Digital collage, gouache on inkjet, 51 × 62 cm.

An exhibition of map-related art is taking place at the Sakshi Gallery in Mumbai, India. Curated by Meera Menezes, Here Be Dragons and Other Coded Landscapes features works by 11 artists; it runs until 31 May. More from the Hindustan Times. [Caitlin Dempsey]

Seeking Civilization: Map Art Exihibition in San Francisco

Miguel Angel Ríos, Le Premier Voyage à l’Inconnu, 1992-93. Cibachrome mounted on pleated canvas with pushpins, 160 × 320 cm.

Seeking Civilization: Art and Cartography, an exhibition at Gallery Wendi Norris in San Francisco, “offers a timely re-contextualization of cartographic narrative in contemporary art and dialogue. Including works ranging from deconstructed colonial maps to neon light installations documenting personal journeys in search of love, these artworks direct us towards new reflections on citizenship, power and nationhood.” Featuring art by Michael Arcega, Val Britton, Guillermo Galindo, Taraneh Hemami, Omar Mismar, Miguel Angel Ríos (above) and Adrien Segal, Seeking Civilization opened on 23 March and runs until 6 May. More at SF Weekly[Texas Map Society]

Picturing America

Meanwhile, at All Over the Map, Greg Miller has a look at another professor with another book: Stephen J. Hornsby, who curated an exhibition of American pictorial maps at the Osher Map Library last year, has published a book on the subject: Picturing America: The Golden Age of Pictorial Maps, out last month from University of Chicago Press (Amazon, iBooks). Miller’s post includes an interview with Hornsby and a sample gallery of some of Hornsby’s pictorial maps.

A Typographic Literary Map of London

Dex, “Literary London Map (Graphite Plike, 2017).” White ink on Plike Graphite paper, 50 × 70 cm.

You might have seen this typographic literary map of London: it was featured in a recent article in the Telegraph and went a bit viral from there. The work of London-based artist Dex, who runs a creative studio with interior designer Anna Burles, the map places the names of fictional characters in the areas of London they’re associated with. It’s one of several typographic maps and illustrations available for sale on the artist’s website. [Cartophilia/Goodreads]

Book Roundup for March 2017

Out this month: the English translation of Andrea Carandini’s massive two-volume, 1300-page Atlas of Ancient Rome (Princeton University Press), which “provides a comprehensive archaeological survey of the city of Rome from prehistory to the early medieval period.” See the book’s website. [Amazon]

Other books seeing publication this month: Picturing America: The Golden Age of Pictorial Maps by Stephen J. Hornsby (University of Chicago Press), a history of the pictorial map art form during the 20th century [Amazon]; and Zero Degrees: Geographies of the Prime Meridian by Charles W. J. Withers (Harvard University Press), a history of prime meridians and the standardization thereof [Amazon].

An update: Mapping the Holy Land (I. B. Tauris) which I originally understood to be coming out in January, is now slated for publication this week. [Amazon]

Related: Map Books of 2017.

A ‘Serio-Comic Map’ for the Modern Age

Last December political cartoonist Andy Davey posted a modern-day caricature map that hearkens back to the eve of the First World War, when such “serio-comic” cartographic portraits were common, but fully up-to-date and relevant to the Trump-Putin era. [Maps on the Web]

xkcd’s Time Zone Map

Randall Munroe, “Bad Map Projection: Time Zones,” 15 February 2017. xkcd.

Randall Munroe is a bad man who is back with another bad map projection to make our eyes bleed. (If he does this often enough he’ll have enough for a book. Heaven forfend.) This one is, like his other maps, fiendishly subtle: it stretches and compresses countries to fit where their time zones ought to be, longitudinally speaking.

Sohei Nishino at SFMOMA

Sohi Nishino, "Diorama Map London," 2010.
Sohi Nishino, “Diorama Map London,” 2010.

An exhibition of Sohei Nishino’s work is taking place right now at SFMOMA, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In his Diorama Map series, Nishino assembles patchwork-quilt aerial views of cities from thousands of his photographs; each city is thrown deep into its own uncanny valley. Here’s an Atlas Obscura profile from last November. New Work: Sohei Nishino runs until 26 February. More at SF Weekly. [WMS]

Christine Gedeon’s Stitched Plots

Christine Gedeon, "OSH, Brooklyn (Plot re-visualized)," 2012. Fabric, thread and paint on raw black canvas, 54″×32″.
Christine Gedeon, “OSH, Brooklyn (Plot re-visualized),” 2012. Fabric, thread and paint on raw black canvas, 54″×32″.

An exhibition opening this week at the Jane Lombard Gallery in Manhattan features, among others, the work of Christine Gedeon, an artist who “uses a sewing machine, fabric and paint on raw canvas to create improvisational stitched ‘plots’ that toe the line between abstraction and landscape. Examining issues of the urban environment, cartography, and urban planning, Gedeon investigates how humans interact with each other and our built environment to form relationships, narratives, and identities.” Examples of Gedeon’s stitched work can be found at her website. [The Map as Art]