Marginalia in cARTography

From next week on, there is an exhibition on show in the Chazen Museum of Art called Marginalia in cARTography.This exhibition (February 28 until May 18) explores the visual discourse between marginal artistic images and the maps where they appear, as this marginalia sheds light on the content and purpose of the maps, their authors and patrons, and on the historical period when they were made. The exhibition also explores cartography as an art form, with a focus on the representations in the map margins. Guest curator is Sandra Sáenz-López Pérez, an Spanish art historian who specializes in the iconographical analysis of maps and the artistic interest of historical cartography.

If you don’t happen to be around the corner of Wisconsin (like me), you might like the fact that the catalogue is downloadable here.

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Map: Blaeu, Willem Janszoon, Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica ac Hydrographica Tabula, Map, Amsterdam, 1635, 41 x 54 cm., Courtesy of the Department of Special Collections, Memorial Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Maps of Amsterdam

You know I live in Amsterdam. A great city to live in, also because of the charming canals that give the city its beauty and historical feel. In the Stadsarchief Amsterdam, an exhibtion called Booming Amsterdam just opened. The expo is about the building of the canals in the Golden Age. In 1613, Amsterdam was growing quickly and expansion was needed to house all people living in and coming to Amsterdam.The city council decided to build city canals. Booming Amsterdam gives you a great overview of 400 years of urban development. You will find maps, architectural plans and cityscapes to tell the city’s story. And it is quite the story!

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And of big importance to me: two books were also recently published: Kaarten van Amsterdam (Maps of Amsterdam), Part 1: Amsterdam from 1538-1865, Part 2: Amsterdam from 1866-2012.

Part 2 is an updated and extended version of a book published in 2002, Part 1 is completely new. I had the honour to speak with the author – Marc Hameleers- a few weeks ago and he told me the project has been a part of his life for the last 20 years. The base for these two books is a catalogue written by D’Ailly in 1934. Marc Hameleers: “A.E. d’Ailly was working at the Stadsarchief of Amsterdam (the municipal archives) and he wrote a very thorough, detailed catalogue of the maps of Amsterdam. Unfortunately not very exciting to read, but the content is impressive. Don’t forget: D’Ailly didn’t have the resources we have nowadays to research the existence and availability of maps. His research is really impressive.”

Obviously, there are some big differences between the catalogue from 1934 and these new books: D’Ailly included the maps in a chronological order of its content. This means a map from the 19th century would be found in the beginning of the overview because it presented Amsterdam in the 17th century). Hameleers decided to follow the chronology of the map itself, making the overview also useful to study the cartographical developments and focus. Another big difference: Hameleers included all different versions, fascimiles etc of one map in one catalogue number. This makes the overview the books offer much more useful and practical. The Stadsarchief Amsterdam has a huge collection of maps of Amsterdam, but research was also done in other collections worldwide to get closest to a complete overview as possible.
The result of these years of work by Hameleers? Two beautifully designed books (by Ronald Boiten and Irene Mesu) with almost 1100 images. The books are intriguing because of their massive amount of great content, super printing quality (the maps look great) and the information they provide about the development of my lovely city. A must have if you ask me!

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Information about the exhibition Booming Amsterdam:
15 February – 26 of May 2013
Admission adults: 6 euros
Adress: Stadsarchief Amsterdam, Vijzelstraat 32 Amsterdam
www.boomingamsterdam2013.nl

Information about the books:
Publisher: Thoth
ISBN: 978 90 6868 620 3 (part 1) and 978 90 6868 621 0 (part 2)
Price € 69,50 (per book)

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Atlas de Wit

Have you seen the beautiful recent Atlas De Wit publication yet? This book should definitely be on the wishlist of map lovers. The Atlas De Wit is a historical atlas with 158 city plans and bird’s eye views of towns in the Northern and Southern Netherlands in the seventeenth century, by cartographer Frederick de Wit. The fascimile offers you the opportunity to wander through Dutch (and Belgian) cities: take a step back on these gorgeous handcoloured maps and get lost in the 17th century. The atlas was presented with the tagline ‘Discover the Google Earth of the Golden Age’, a smart move.

Atlas de Wit
M. van Delft & Peter Van Der Krogt
€ 119 (introduction: € 99 until 31/12/12)
ISBN 978 94 014 0189 0
Issued in three languages: Dutch, French, English

About the Atlas (in Dutch):

A Millennium of Amsterdam

If you are interested in urban development, social history, transportation, maps or the city of Amsterdam (or maybe all of the above, like me), you will love A Millennium of Amsterdam. This beautiful book by publisher Thoth was high on my wish list and I have to say it did not dissapoint me one bit. The book covers the spatial history of this beautiful city in forty stories. The graphic design is beautiful (by Jos Stoopman/stoopmanvos) and the book is full of incredible photos and a lot of maps. The author Fred Feddes takes you on a city trip on every page, focussing on the landscape, the relation between land and water, landmarks in the city, cultural development and much more. How did the landscape now known as Amsterdam look before there was an Amsterdam? Why is the Jordaan so different from the ring canals? Is Central Station in the right place? Why did Amsterdam’s impressive planning machine grind to a halt around 1970, and what happened after that? Who owns Amsterdam, and, for that matter, how great is Amsterdam? The book takes you through time from the year 1000 to the present day. If you know Amsterdam this book is a great way to increase your knowledge on the city history, and if you haven’t visited Amsterdam yet, this book will make you plan a city trip immediately.

ISBN 978 90 6868 595 4
Price € 29,90

Biggy Berlin

Our friends at Carticulate always share cool stuff like this project (they found through The Atlantic Cities, and what I in my turn am happy to share with you guys). In Berlin the 775th birthday of the city is celebrated with a huge map (2.500 meter, scale 1:775). The birthday present is created by eight artists and opens for the public on August 25th. Here is more information on the programme 775 years of Berlin (and where you can find this map on the map).

 

photo: Thomas Peter for Reuters

photo: Sean Gallup for Getty Images

OmnesViae, ‘Maps are Needed’

Bringing together two things I am fond of (thanks for the tip V.!), ancient history and maps, this must be fun. Check out the OmnesViae website where you can navigate your way around the Roman empire. Type in your destination and place of departure and get the shortest way there (Iter brevissimum). This is pretty cool! The map used to navigate on is the Tabula Peutingeriana, a medieval copy of a Roman map of around approximately 300 A.C. See  the empire gets real before your eyes. This reminds me of the computer game Caesar. Back then playing the game, it actually took me a few days to understand that my computer was shouting  ‘Plebs are needed’ all the time to save my city from burning or collapsing. I better stick to blogging about maps instead of building empires…
Very nice work creating this website, mister Voorburg!