In case you get an opportunity to do so between now and June 8, I highly recommend traveling to Baltimore’s Walters Art Museum to see Maps: Finding Our Place in the World, an extraordinary exhibit organized in seven interconnected galleries: Way Finding, Mapping the World, Mapping Imaginary Worlds, Mapping Your World, Mapping Nature and Society, Mapping History: Making America, and Consuming Maps.

It is the largest exhibit of maps in 50 years, drawing together maps from public and private collections around the world, including the British Library, Newberry Library, Library of Congress, National Archives, C.V. Starr East Asian Library at U.C. Berkeley, and University Library Basel, Switzerland.

Here are just a few of the treasures you’ll see if you make the journey:

  • 1566 cordiform projection world map by Cimerlini
  • Jain cosmological diagram
  • Hindu cosmologic globe
  • Marvel of Created Things, 16th c. copy of a 13th c. work by Al-Qazvini showing the Islamic world view
  • 19th c. Lukasa memory board from Luba (Democratic Republic of Congo)
  • expansive Japanese woodblock map from 1694 of the Road Network in Japan during the Edo Period
  • 18th c. atlas of Nanchang, China reflecting the blue-green style of landscape painting
  • Babylonian clay tablet from 1300 B.C. showing the town plan of Nippur
  • itinerary map from London to Chambery from Matthew Paris’s 1252 Book of Additions
  • map of the Low Countries in the form of a Lion from 1583 (partial image in post above)
  • Lindbergh’s NY to Paris flight plan
  • sketchbooks from Union and Confederate cartographers
  • maps of imaginary worlds – Lilliput, Yoknapatawpha County, the Hundred Acre Wood, and Oz
  • physiographic diagram of the Atlantic Ocean floor that reinforced the concept of continental drift
  • huge geological map of England (about 10 feet tall) that helped support the theory of evolution
  • maps of Italy by DaVinci reflecting the first use of shades of color to indicate elevation
  • Harry Beck’s famous depiction of the London Underground
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