Picturing the City: Illustrated Maps of NYC
The New York Public Library’s extensive map collection includes a treasure trove of artistically
creative cartography. When maps are embellished with pictures, as they have been since
mapping began, we receive geographic information in richer, more engaging ways. Illustrated
maps of New York are especially effective in offering exuberant and evolving views of a
burgeoning metropolis. It seems only right, after all, that such a flourishing city be depicted
with all manner of visual flourishes.
This display—guest-curated and written by Katharine Harmon, author of You Are Here –
NYC: Mapping the Soul of the City—features a diverse selection of illustrated maps spanning
six centuries, from Manhattan’s earliest days as the hub of a new Dutch colony to a lighthearted
depiction of the city in the 22nd century. Artistic embellishments include dynamic designs, bold
colors, novel perspectives, and cartoon humor. Along with Harmon’s commentary, explore the
city’s history and cartography’s most expansive form in these visually striking and content-rich
maps of New York City.
For viewing opportunities, consult the hours of the Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division.
Open now. Ends April 9th, 2018. Stephen A. Schwarzman Building