Please see Cartography - Calendar of
Exhibitions for a current calendar of exhibitions.
Click here for archive of past exhibitions.
March 26, 2011 – January 1, 2013 –
More than Meets the Eye: Maps and Prints of Early America is at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, 326 West Francis Street. The exhibition features 35 maps, portraits, and other graphic images that invite the viewer to look more deeply into the subtle messages delivered by artisans depicting America. In addition to objects from the Colonial Williamsburg collections, the exhibition includes an outstanding documentary source for the 1920s restoration of the historic town—the “Frenchman’s” map, loaned by the College of William and Mary. The Connecticut Historical Society has also kindly agreed to loan their copy of Abel Buell’s "A New and correct Map of the United States of America,” the first map of the thirteen states to be published after the Congress of the Confederation ratified the treaty on January 14, 1784. Two programs in conjunction with the exhibit "Focus on Maps" and "Maps and Migration" will offer a closer look at specific types of maps. "Focus on Maps" will feature rare and important 17th and 18th century American maps. That program will be offered at 2:15 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Mondays from April 4-June 6. "Maps and Migration" will show transatlantic migration routes in British North America during a guided tour of the 17th and 18th century maps. That tour will be held at 4 p.m. on Thursdays May 5-June 9.
October 29, 2012 - January 1,
2013 - Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cartographic Grounds: Projecting the Landscape Imaginary uses maps to show old and new drawing techniques. Sections of an old map of Switzerland employs hachures - short lines used to depict an incline’s degree of slope. The show, on view at Gund Hall, Harvard Graduate School of Design , 48 Quincy, is also meant to give students a sense of the aesthetics that have been vividly present in cartography for centuries, but that may be muted in an age of 3-D representations of space. Curator Jill Desimini stood between a 13th-century map of the British Isles, on which settlements were marked with castles, and a flickering video made last month that stacked layers of geographic data. In defense of the modern age, she said, “It’s much more challenging to make something that has to work at so many different scales.” For those who are not students, Cartographic Grounds still has immense appeal, beginning with those aesthetics. “You can be immersed in a lot of beautiful maps and a lot of beautiful drawings,” said Desimini. Viewers can simply marvel at the rich lexicon of the ways that maps are organized and drawn. Within the idea of subsurface inventions, for instance, is the familiar stratigraphic column depicting layers of rock. This was a revolutionary idea in 1815, when William Smith published the first nation-scale geological map, depicting the fossil-rich subsurface layers that created Britain’s contours. Add to that the cross section, a mapping convention so familiar that it is now all but invisible. The exhibit includes a whimsical view of a South American mountain, with a verdant outer layer on one side and a mountain of words on the other. This is an 1802 botanical map by Alexander von Humboldt, meant to show how plant distribution was affected by elevation. The rest of the show offers lavishly illustrated lessons. There are the line symbols and conventional signs of temporal cartography, where precision overwhelms the need to show how a place looks from the air. A Federal Aviation Administration map of Los Angeles, for instance, replaces the look of a place to reflect the first imperative of air travel: Know where the ground is. In maps of the aqueous world, there are soundings and isobaths and spot elevations, including a water-depth map of a Dutch river in the 1730s. Then there are the hachures, shaded relief, and other conventions used to depict the terrestrial landscape. Quite logically, this is the biggest part of the exhibit, because ground maps have dominated cartography from the beginning. This is also the area of cartography where the past most strikingly meets the future. There are maps painstakingly mapped on foot by a surveyor. And there are maps derived from satellite technology, including a video display that allows the viewer to “fly” across the world at a bird’s-eye level.
November 30, 2012 – January 6, 2013 - Valletta, Malta
In the beginning of the 19th century Baron Charles Frederick Von Brocktorff (1775-1850) moved to Malta from Schleswig Holstein in Germany. He lived in Valletta and he and his wife had 12 children. He opened a gallery selling paintings and maps made by him and four of his sons. His business was very successful. The Malta Map Society, in collaboration with Heritage Malta, will sponsor an exhibition The Brocktorff Mapmakers. The exhibition will be held at the Museum of Fine Arts, South Street, and a catalog will be issued. Additional information from Rod Lyon.
October 20, 2012 - January 13, 2013 - Loveland, Colorado
Civil War: Maps, Money and Memories can be seen in the Loveland Museum/Gallery, 503 N. Lincoln Ave. Exhibit shows Civil War fractional currency and maps Dave Cole has collected.
November 11, 2012 – January 13, 2013 - Göttingen,
The year 2012 marks 250 years since the death of Tobias Mayer. Mr. Mayer became a highly regarded mathematician, cartographer, and astronomer in the mid-1700s. He worked for the Homann family for several years. An exhibition illustrating aspects of his works, including maps made by him while working for the Homanns, can bee seen at Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen, Platz der Göttinger Sieben 1.
November 27, 2012 – January
20, 2013 - Galloway, New Jersey
The Richard E. Bjork Library at Richard Stockton College, 101 Vera King Farris Drive, is hosting Surveying South Jersey, an exhibit of maps and artifacts representing the region in the mid-19th century. The display’s centerpiece is a beautifully restored Smith & Wistar map of Salem and Gloucester counties. The map measures 4.8 feet in width and 3.4 feet in depth and is water colored by hand. It is near the library’s reference desk. An accompanying exhibition, by two recent Stockton graduates, Nick Leonetti and James Pomar, describes New Jersey map-making at mid-nineteenth century, and gives a brief background on the two counties. The collection also includes a group of large Atlases containing maps of the Southern New Jersey coast, Philadelphia and what is now Camden County and Monmouth County, among other areas.
September 13, 2012 - January 21, 2013 - New York
Through maps, photographs, newspapers, government documents, and original artifacts, visitors will encounter Staten Island’s historical transformation and its changing roles as a farming center, as a rural retreat, as the site of rapidly residential communities, as a center for industry, and as an increasingly dense urban environment. From Farm to City: Staten Island 1661-2012 will also enable visitors to explore current debates about land preservation, environmental sustainability, and redevelopment on the island, including through a special case study of the Fresh Kills landfill redevelopment. The exhibition can be seen at Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue.
October 4, 2012 - January 27, 2013 - Victoria, British
Envisioning the World: The First Printed Maps, 1472-1700, can be seen at Royal BC Museum, 675 Belleville Street. This collection of the earliest printed maps of the world reveals the rapidly unfolding understanding of geography and our place in the universe from the early Renaissance through the scientific Age of Enlightenment. The 30 rare and stunning maps, drawn from the extensive Wendt collection, also portray the first attempts to come to grips with the shape, size, and nature of the Earth and our solar system. One map from the Royal BC Museum’s historic map collection in the BC Archives will be on exhibit. Dated from 1696, the illuminated double-hemisphere view of the world is adapted and redrawn from the original work of the important French cartographer Nicholas Sanson (1600-1667). It provides a fascinating look at how European mapmakers of the time viewed the North Pacific with mythical wonder and scanty facts. The exhibition is accompanied by a beautiful 104-page catalogue available for purchase from the Royal Museum Shop.
October 23, 2012 – January 27, 2013 – Paris
An exhibition on Portolan charts from the thirteenth to the eighteenth century will be at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, François-Mitterrand site, Grand Galerie. For additional information contact email@example.com.
October 1, 2012 – February 9, 2013 - Arlington, Texas
An exhibit at University of Texas Arlington Library’s Special Collections, 702 Planetarium Place, titled Pearls of the Antilles: Printed Maps of Caribbean Islands, features over seventy maps and prints, drawn solely from the collections at UT Arlington.
August 24, 2012 - February 10, 2013 – Princeton
First X, Then Y, Now Z: Landmark Thematic Maps is the title of an exhibition in Main Gallery, Firestone Library. This exhibition introduces viewers to the early history of thematic mapping—the topical layering (Z) of geographic space (X-Y)—through both quantitative and qualitative examples. On display will be early, if not the earliest, thematic maps in various disciplines, such as meteorology, geology, hydrography, natural history, medicine, and sociology/economics. In some cases the maps literally changed the world in the sense that new scientific avenues of investigation resulted. Also, a selection of more fanciful, “theme” maps, on literary subjects, love/marriage, and utopia, will be shown. These exhibitions and their related events are free and open to the public thanks to the generous support of the Friends of the Princeton University Library.
January 23, 2013 – February
14, 2013 - West Windsor, New Jersey
Mercer County will officially kick off a yearlong celebration of its 175th Anniversary year with Mapping Mercer, an exhibition of historic and contemporary maps that trace some of the history of this region. The exhibit will be on display at The Gallery at Mercer County Community College, 1200 Old Trenton Road. On display for the first time since the early 1930s will be two of the county’s Master Plan maps. Other featured maps include Victorian bird’s-eye view maps of Hightstown, Hopewell Borough and Trenton, a 1719 map of “Pensilvania, New-Jersey, New-York, and the Three Delaware Counties,” and the last official map of New Jersey (1833) before Mercer became a county in 1838.
June 15, 2012 - February 23, 2013 - Harbor Springs, Michigan
A Delightful Destination: Little Traverse Bay at the Turn of the Century is the featured temporary exhibit at the Harbor Springs History Museum, 349 E. Main Street. In 1900 tourists and season residents flocked to waterfront communities around Little Traverse Bay including Petoskey and Harbor Springs. Luxury hotels opened serving fresh oysters and lobsters. Railroad and steamship companies created elaborate advertising campaigns that rival the current Pure Michigan program and an economy and way of life still visible today were created. Through vintage maps, photographs, books and postcards, A Delightful Destination: Little Traverse Bay at the Turn of the Century explores the region's transportation, cultural, and economic growth during this colorful period between 1890 and 1920.
December 10, 2012 - February 24, 2013 – Washington
The American Civil War is one of the defining events in American history. To commemorate its 150th anniversary, the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library created the exhibition Torn in Two: the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War. This multimedia display takes a geographic and cartographic approach to exploring and illuminating the causes of the conflict, the conduct of the war and how the war was remembered in later years. A reduced traveling version of the exhibition can be seen at Ford’s Theater, Center for Education and Leadership, 514 10th Street NW, where it will showcase 40 historic maps and related graphics (including, manuscript letters, political cartoons, music and press of the period). A fully illustrated, 152-page exhibition catalog is available for US $35.00; for information about purchasing a copy, send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 29, 2012 – February
28, 2013 – Singapore
Raffles' Letters, Intrigues behind the Founding of Singapore can be seen at the National Library Gallery, Level 10, National Library Building, 100 Victoria Street. The exhibition reveals important insights into the founding of Singapore in 1819 through letters written by Sir Stamford Raffles. Numerous maps of early Singapore and the surrounding area are displayed. Another highlight is a replica of what is believed to be the first landward map of Singapore. Dated 1820, the map contains details that are nor seen in subsequent maps and shows the Singapore Town in its infancy.
September 11, 2012 – February 28, 2013 – Portland,
The exhibit, Iconic America: The United States Map as a National Symbol, is at the Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education, University of Southern Maine. The exhibit takes a broad look at the symbolic use of the mapped shape of the USA – “ushapia” – in a variety of forms: political campaigns; patriotic expressions; textiles and clothing; culinary and household goods; book covers; and magazine and newspaper graphics. John Fondersmith is guest curator for the exhibit, which will showcase a number of items from his collection. Fondersmith has been collecting various graphics and items that use the map shape of the United States for over 30 years. About 1990 he coined the word “ushapia” to describe a wide range of objects and graphics that, while not technically maps, use the basic map shape of the United States to symbolize the country. He hopes that the exhibit will spur further interest, discussion, and research on the symbolic use of the US map shape. Such logo maps are used daily in a range of media, and in a variety of forms, to convey ideas about the identity and nature of the USA. The “shape of the nation” is truly an important part of the American experience.
December 15, 2012 - March 18,
2013 - Durham, North Carolina
Instead of being just a navigational tool, maps may also help people understand the social context of past societies. Duke University students curated an exhibit devoted to analyzing maps in innovative ways at Perkins Lobby Gallery, Duke University Library. The exhibit, titled Mapping the City: A Stranger’s Guide, was hosted by students working on an independent study with Philip Stern, assistant professor of history and co-director at the Borderworks Humanities Lab. When the students learned that Perkins had reserved a space for a presentation of their choice, they developed an exhibit that featured unseen works from the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library collection and shed light on the numerous ways in which maps can be read. The exhibit includes rare works such as the Willem Blaeu Atlas and a sound map of modern-day London. For students interested in the University’s history, the exhibit features early 20th century photographs of East Campus.
January 12, 2013 – March
30, 2013 – Marseille
Mémoires des rives : cartes et portulans de Méditerranée is on display at Bibliothèque Alcazar BMVR, Place René Sarvil - 58, cours Belsunce. This exhibition reveals the treasures of various schools of portolan mapping, with a focus on the Marseille School. From the second half of the 16th century to the 17th century, Marseille became the center of portolan mapping. Several names illustrate the Marseille School of portolans: the Graffignia the Roussin, the Ambrosin. Many French and foreign institutions were approached for loans, to better illustrate the characteristics of these charts.
August 3, 2012 - March 31, 2013 – Cleveland
When residents of Cleveland meet for the first time at a party or event, one of the first questions is often “So do you live on the east side or west side?” People relocating to Cleveland and searching for an apartment or home quickly find out that the decision can have far ranging effects about their daily routines and even the friends they will make. Where does this geographical division arise and how long has it defined who we are as “Clevelanders?” Of course the dividing line is the Cuyahoga River, but why the Cuyahoga? When did it take on the power to define people and their lives? Drawing on a rich collection of maps at Western Reserve Historical Society, 10825 East Boulevard, East vs. West – Mapping Cleveland, the Western Reserve & the Midwest follows the history of how the area in which we live came to be mapped, divided up, separated into political areas of settlement, and maybe shed some light on how east versus west became so important in Cleveland. Interactive maps showing the earliest settlement of the area are superimposed with 2012 images of Google maps. Visitors can look at the changing downtown area by placing images of buildings on a large plat map, viewing mid-19th century through mid-20th century Cleveland. Also included are early survey tools called “Gunters Chains”, the use of maps in politics, and geographic changes through developments in transportation.
March 1, 2013 - April 14, 2013 – Annapolis
An exhibition titled Envisioning the World: The First Printed Maps, 1472-1700 can be seen at Elizabeth Myers Mitchell Gallery, St. Johns College, 60 College Avenue, Mellon Hall. The exhibition will feature approximately 30 rare world maps drawn from the collection of Henry Wendt, and will explore the major trends in intellectual history from the early Renaissance through the scientific era of the Enlightenment. Through the language of cartography, the maps in the exhibition illustrate the way in which scientists, mathematicians, explorers and cartographers came to grips with the shape, size and nature of the Earth as a whole and its place in the universe. Highlighted in the exhibition are the important contributions to this evolving cosmography of: Ptolemy (c. 90-168 ); Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543); Galileo Galilei (1564-1642); Johannes Kepler (1571-1630); and Edmond Halley (1656-1742). Works featured in the exhibition include: the first printed map (1472), a schematic concept of the continents in the form of a "T" encircled by an "O" of ocean; the first printed road map (1598), showing the cursus publicus, the postal system of the Roman Empire, in eight sections totaling 14 linear feet; highly decorative exemplars from the golden age of Dutch mapmaking (17th century); and elaborate hand-colored celestial views (1700), representing the constellations with figures from Greek mythology.
March 13, 2013 – April 17,
2013 – London
Inspired by the pioneering work of medical detective John Snow, who traced the source of a deadly cholera outbreak in 1850s London to a water pump in Soho, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is opening its doors to the public with an exhibition celebrating his work and legacy. Historical items on display from the archives of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the Wellcome Library, Museum of London and the London Metropolitan Archives include rare maps and printed ephemera relating to cholera outbreaks at the time. Cartographies of Life & Death – John Snow and Disease Mapping can be seen at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street. Open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm. Free entry.