New NLS Exhibition: You Are Here

A new map exhibition opens this Friday at the National Library of Scotland. You Are Here “challenges our acceptance of maps. It poses questions about how they are made and how we understand them. Drawn from our collection of more than two million maps and atlases, each map in the exhibition shows the answer to some or all of those questions. The maps on display zoom out from the Library itself to the whole world in the shape of the Blaeu Atlas Maior—‘the most beautiful atlas ever made.’ They also include one of the finest plans of Edinburgh and the first map of Scotland, as well as more utilitarian railway, fishing and schoolroom maps.” The exhibition runs until 3 April 2017. I imagine there will be more links once it opens. [NLS]

Unique Perspectives: Japanese Map Exhibition in Chicago

artic-japanese Opening this Saturday, 25 June at the Art Institute of Chicago and running until 6 November, Unique Perspectives: Japanese Maps from the 18th and 19th Centuries “showcases the beauty of Japanese printmaking. The 18th- and 19th-century maps on view feature the world, the Japanese archipelago, and the country’s major cities, including Osaka, Yokohama, Edo, Nagasaki, and Kyoto. Highlights include works from trustee Barry MacLean’s comprehensive collection.” [WMS]

Exhibitions, Events, Meetings and Societies

Every so often I think about creating directories of map societies or a calendar of upcoming events. That way lies madness, especially since I’d be reinventing the wheel. John Docktor already maintains calendars of exhibitions and meetings and events; sure, I’d like them to be machine-readable (i.e., have the ability to add events to your phone’s calendar), but he’s the one doing the work, so I’ll shut up now. As for map societies, Tony Campbell lists the international societies, while James Speed Hensinger maintains indexes of the local map societies.

There may be other resources out there along these lines; let me know about them and I’ll post them.

Tolkien’s Annotated Map On Display for One Day Only

Tolkien’s annotated map of Middle-earth, recently purchased by Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries, is being put on display—but only for one day. Mark your calendars: Thursday, 23 June 2016, from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM, Weston Library. [Tony Campbell]

(The only other instance of a single-day map exhibition I can think of was when the Austrian National Library put the infinitely more delicate and valuable Tabula Peutingeriana on display for a single day in 2007.)

Previously: Bodleian Library Acquires Annotated Tolkien MapMap of Middle-earth, Annotated by Tolkien Himself, Discovered.

Fantasy Maps Exhibit at St. Louis Central Library

Fantasy Maps: Imagined Worlds, a new exhibition at St. Louis’s Central Library, features enlarged prints of fantasy maps and a 75×25-foot illustrated map of St. Louis on the floor of the library’s great hall. Opens today and runs until 15 October according to this page. There’s nothing on the library’s website, but see the writeup in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. [WMS]

The Great Lines Project

With the Great Lines Project, Karen Rann explores the history and origins of the contour line. In addition to her rather heavily illustrated blog, there’s a related exhibition, the Great Lines Exhibition (naturally enough), which opens today at the Lit & Phil (Literary and Philosophical Society) in Newcastle. Free admission. Details here and here. [WMS]

Update, 9 June: More from CityLab.

Chidō Museum Exhibit Features Huge Map of Northeastern Japan

An exhibition at the Chidō Museum in Tsuruoka, Yamagata Prefecture features a huge (11 m × 5 m) mid-17th-century map of northeastern Japan, the Asahi Shimbun reports: “It is a copy of the Dewa Ikkoku no Ezu picture map, which was jointly compiled by feudal domains controlling the region stretching from today’s Yamagata Prefecture to neighboring Akita Prefecture.” [WMS]

And Now Some Map News from Texas

Map of the River Sabine from Logan's Ferry to 32nd degree of North Latitude
Joint Commission, Map of the River Sabine from Logan’s Ferry to 32nd degree of North Latitude, 1841. Paper, 22.1″ × 28.6″. Texas General Land Office.

Running from 29 April to 5 September 2016 at the Witte Museum in San Antonio, Texas, Mapping Texas: From Frontier to the Lone Star State “is a once-in-a-generation, collaborative exhibition covering nearly three hundred years of Texas mapping. The maps, dating from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries, document the birth of Texas, the evolution of the physical and political boundaries of the state and the rise of the Alamo and San Antonio Missions.” [WMS]

Meanwhile, the Texas General Land Office has acquired five rare maps from the 1840-1841 survey of the boundary between the then-Republic of Texas and the United States (see example above). Press release. [Tony Campbell/WMS]

Fuller Update

Fuller, London Town, 2005–2015. Black ink on archival cotton board, 91 cm × 116 cm.
Fuller, London Town, 2005–2015. Black ink on archival cotton board, 91 cm × 116 cm.

The Bristol Post reports on artist Gareth Wood (aka Fuller), whose iconic London Town—now acquired (as an archival print) by the British Library—was preceded by a similar map of Bristol. An exhibition of his work, called Get Lost, will run from 5 to 26 May at the Palm Tree Gallery, 291 Portobello Road, London, W10 5TD. [WMS]

Previously: Fuller: London Town.

Update: BBC News on institutions’ acquisitions of Fuller’s art.

The WSJ Reviews China at the Center

verbiest
Ferdinand Verbiest, A Complete Map of the World, 1674. Ink on paper, eight scrolls, 217 × 54 cm. Library of Congress.

Here’s a review in the Wall Street Journal of the Asian Art Museum’s exhibition, China at the Center, which I’ve told you about before.

The show includes portraits of both as well as a half-dozen books to evoke the libraries each brought and the impact they had. Most helpful, however, are two large touchscreens, one for each map, that allow us to access translations and summaries of many of the texts. This quickly becomes addictive, because the journey is full of surprises. Here, we read about scientific theories or descriptions based on travelers’ accounts. There, we learn how best to capture a unicorn.

[WMS]

Previously: China at the CenterUpcoming Symposium: Reimagining the Globe and Cultural Exchange.

Stanford’s David Rumsey Map Center Opens Today

rumseymapsposterAs I mentioned earlier this month, the David Rumsey Map Center at Stanford University opens today (KQED coverage). To celebrate, there’s a grand opening and open house tonight from 6 to 7 PM at the Center, which is located on the fourth floor of Green LibraryPresentations and workshops take place on the 20th and 21st, for which registration is required. That’s followed by a day-long open house on the 22nd.

The Center’s first exhibition, A Universe of Maps: Opening the David Rumsey Map Center, runs from today until 28 August (here’s the online version).

Previously: David Rumsey Map Center at Stanford Opens April 19.

UpdateNational Geographic coverage. [WMS]

The Golden Age of American Pictorial Maps

The Capital of a New Trade Empire, 1929. Sheet map, 33×30 cm. Osher Map Library, University of Southern Maine.
The Capital of a New Trade Empire, 1929. Sheet map, 33×30 cm. Osher Map Library, University of Southern Maine.

The Golden Age of American Pictorial Maps is an exhibition running until 3 September 2016 at the University of Southern Maine’s Osher Map Library. (If you can’t go there physically, there’s plenty online at the link, too.) “Curated by Dr. Stephen J. Hornsby, co-editor of the Historical Atlas of Maine [previously] and author of a forthcoming book on American pictorial maps, this exhibit looks at the golden age of pictorial or illustrated maps from the 1920s to the 1960s. Reflecting the exuberance of American popular culture and the creativity of commercial art, the maps are stimulating to the imagination and dazzling to the eye.” [WMS]

Related reading: The Art of Illustrated Maps by John Roman (previously).