Picturing America: The Golden Age Of Pictorial Maps

Hardcover | March 23, 2017

byStephen J. Hornsby

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Instructive, amusing, colorful—pictorial maps have been used and admired since the first medieval cartographer put pen to paper depicting mountains and trees across countries, people and objects around margins, and sea monsters in oceans. More recent generations of pictorial map artists have continued that traditional mixture of whimsy and fact, combining cartographic elements with text and images and featuring bold and arresting designs, bright and cheerful colors, and lively detail. In the United States, the art form flourished from the 1920s through the 1970s, when thousands of innovative maps were mass-produced for use as advertisements and decorative objects—the golden age of American pictorial maps.
 
Picturing America is the first book to showcase this vivid and popular genre of maps. Geographer Stephen J. Hornsby gathers together 158 delightful pictorial jewels, most drawn from the extensive collections of the Library of Congress. In his informative introduction, Hornsby outlines the development of the cartographic form, identifies several representative artists, describes the process of creating a pictorial map, and considers the significance of the form in the history of Western cartography. Organized into six thematic sections, Picturing America covers a vast swath of the pictorial map tradition during its golden age, ranging from “Maps to Amuse” to “Maps for War.” Hornsby has unearthed the most fascinating and visually striking maps the United States has to offer: Disney cartoon maps, college campus maps, kooky state tourism ads, World War II promotional posters, and many more. This remarkable, charming volume’s glorious full­-color pictorial maps will be irresistible to any map lover or armchair traveler.

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Instructive, amusing, colorful—pictorial maps have been used and admired since the first medieval cartographer put pen to paper depicting mountains and trees across countries, people and objects around margins, and sea monsters in oceans. More recent generations of pictorial map artists have continued that traditional mixture of whimsy...

Stephen J. Hornsby is director of the Canadian-American Center and professor of geography and Canadian studies at the University of Maine. He is author and coeditor of several books, including the prize-winning Historical Atlas of Maine.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 11 × 8.5 × 1.1 inPublished:March 23, 2017Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022638604X

ISBN - 13:9780226386041

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Ralph E. Ehrenberg
Pictorial Maps: An American Genre
Maps to Amuse
Maps to Instruct
Maps of Places and Regions
Maps for Industry
Maps for War
Maps for Postwar America
Acknowledgments
Notes
Index
 

Editorial Reviews

"Hornsby’s Picturing America is a beautifully illustrated new book that documents the 'golden age' of pictorial maps, from the 1920s to the 1970s. It includes the playful (distorted views of the country from the perspective of New Yorkers, Texans and Californians); the obscure (a map of volunteer fire departments in Philadelphia, circa 1792, commissioned and drawn in 1938); and more of the obscure (a map of Michigan bakeries)."