20th-Century New York

manhattan-1920s
Charles Vernon Farrow, A Map of the Wondrous Isle of Manhattan, 1926. Pictorial map, 94 cm × 57 cm, David Rumsey Map Collection.

Gothamist looks at A Map of the Wondrous Isle of Manhattan, a pictorial map from 1926 created by Charles Vernon Farrow. [NYPL]

Mosaic map murals graced the Times Square Information Center when it opened in 1957. Now the building is a police substation, and there are hopes and expectations that an upcoming renovation of the substation will preserve the murals. [NYPL]

Beinecke Acquires Map of Harlem Nightclubs

E. Simms Campbell, A Night-Club Map of Harlem, 1932. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library has announced that it has acquired “the original artwork for a 1932 map of Harlem nightclubs drawn by E. Simms Campbell, the first African American illustrator to be syndicated and whose work was featured regularly in national magazines. The map, purchased at auction on March 31, provides a ‘who’s who’ guide of the nightclubs that drove Harlem nightlife during and after Prohibition, including the Savoy Ballroom, the Cotton Club, and Gladys’s Clam Bar. It was published in the inaugural edition of Manhattan Magazine and appeared in Esquire nine months later.” [WMS]

Old Logging Maps

North Country Public Radio’s Adirondack Attic: “Jerry Pepper, librarian at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake, shows Andy Flynn a collection of maps that detail logging operations by the Finch Pruyn paper company in the town of Newcomb. The maps were used from the 1920s to about 1950, the year of the last river drive carrying logs from the Adirondack Mountains down the Hudson River.” [Tony Campbell]

My county’s archives has a collection of old logging maps; I blogged about them in 2007.

The New York Tube Map

New York Tube_v2

Cameron Booth’s latest project is a New York subway map in the form of the London Tube Map: “A little while ago, someone asked me on my Transit Maps blog whether I had ever seen a map of the New York subway system in the style of the London Underground diagram. Rather surprisingly, I hadn’t actually come across one, so I decided to draw one up myself.”

I’m surprised someone hasn’t done one already, but then there’s the problem of service pattern complexity unique to New York, which Cam handles by simply not handling it—making this a design exercise rather than a usable map. “The map certainly looks attractive, but the Tube Map’s style is ill-suited to the intricate working complexities of the New York subway system.”

Previously: Redrawing the London Tube Map.

McCutcheon’s View

Three years ago, the Newberry Library posted a note about a 1922 cartoon from the Chicago Tribune: “The New Yorker’s Idea of the Map of the United States” by John T. McCutcheon bears a strong resemblance to Saul Steinberg’s famous 29 March 1976 New Yorker cover, whose inspiration is often traced to Daniel K. Wallingford’s A New Yorker’s Idea of the United States (1937). See the gallery below.

Map as Metaphor

Map as Metaphor is the theme for this year’s History of Art series, hosted by the New York-based Center for Book Arts. Starting tomorrow and running on three consecutive Friday evenings, a series of panels will investigate “how the map can be understood as a metaphor, both as material artifact and cultural object as well as an artistic tool”: The Socio-Political Map: Control and Power (18 March); The Eco-Techno Map: Data and Online Initiatives (25 March); and The Artist Map: Appropriation and Creation (1 April). Each panel takes place at the Center for Book Arts, 28 W 27th St, 3rd Floor, New York, and begins at 6:30 PM. Reservations recommended; donations requested. [via]

Map of Colonial New Jersey Rediscovered

colonial-nj

A 1769 map of New Jersey by the famed colonial surveyor Bernard Ratzer, commissioned to settle a longstanding border dispute between New Jersey and New York, has been uncovered by a Harvard University librarian. The map, criss-crossed by competing and alternate boundary lines, has been digitized and is available to view online as part of Harvard’s Colonial North American project.