Feeling Blaeu

Well, you can definitely add this one to your to do list when visiting Amsterdam this summer: go see the exhibition ‘The world according to Blaeu | Master Cartographer of the Golden Age’ in Het Scheepvaartmuseum (the maritime museum in Amsterdam). The centerpiece of this exhibition is a huge map of the world by Joan Blaeu, dating from 1648. Visitors -older & young, because you better start infusing map love to your young ones rather early!- can look into the tiniest details on the map using magnifying glasses. It’s on show until 31 December, so make sure you fit it into your plans for that upcoming city trip to Amsterdam.

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Photo credits: Kenneth Stamp

Pssst: Remember the map jacket photo shoot I did back in 2012? That was also at the Scheepvaartmuseum, one of my favourite museums in Amsterdam.
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Map of Amsterdam Museums

Well, here is a nice mash-up: see my personal interest meeting my job. Quite a nice map for a cartogeek who works in the museum industry in Amsterdam. Amsterdamtips.com published this metro style map of museums in Amsterdam. As you can see on the central line, the Allard Pierson Museum is on it. In the next edition they should add the Special Collections right next to it (especially because of the huge map collection there :) ).

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Get Lost in Straetview: 17th Century Amsterdam

Looking for a good reason to visit Amsterdam this Spring? The Amsterdam-based maritime museum Het Scheepvaartmuseum just openend a great exhibition on their Atlases. Very high on my to do list, as you can imagine.

If you can’t really book tickets to Amsterdam anytime soon, you’re still lucky: today the museum launched the website Straet View (think Google Street view goes seventeenth century). Great fun to wonder around seventeenth century Amsterdam.

I’ll keep you guys updated about when I’ve visited the exhibition because there will be a lot more map fun in The Atlases (so be careful… that post might still trigger you to visit Amsterdam real soon!).

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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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Beautiful Sea Charts Exhibition

This is a true beauty and a great excuse to go back to Paris real soon. In the Bibliothèque nationale de France you can find this exhibition (until January 27th 2013): L’Âge d’or des cartes marines – Quand l’Europe découvrait le monde (The Golden Age of Sea Charts).

Not alone are the maps in the exhibition beautiful and gives the expo a great overview of the discovery of the world and this category of maps, the library did a great job on presenting the subject. The website looks stunning. There should be a free iPhone and iPad app for the exhibition any day now, the catalogue looks very promising and the design of the exhibition (by Véronique Dollfus et Jeanne Bovier-Lapierre) should give you the immediate feeling you step into a portolan chart. Plus: 350 maps are made available on Gallica (the digital ‘jewel box’ of the library). This expo is a must go if you ask me. And let me know if you’ve visited the BnF!

Can I get that Globe in 4D?

This is an interesting way of presenting knowledge. Meet Globe4D: an interactive installation for globe viewing, used by museums, schools and universities to exhibit or discuss knowledge. It is possible to show changes over time, climate differences, air plane routes… I like the way this tool makes the Earth (or another planet) more tangible. It works like this: the planet is projected on a sphere. By rotating the sphere it can be observed from any angle. A ring, fitted around the sphere, allows the user to manipulate the fourth dimension by turning it. This can be time or any other variable (e.g. waterlevel, zoom). The installation was originally developed in a researchgroup at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. I can see the use of this for many institutions and exhibitions!