Sunday, January 13, 2008

Mapping the Imagination, Among Other Things

If I hadn't just started a new job, you can bet I'd be in the car, on the way to Chicago to see the "Festival of Maps," a citywide exhibition that includes everything from some of J.R.R. Tolkien's maps of Middle-earth to the map Charles Lindbergh carried on his historic flight across the Atlantic to a 1920-ish "Ancient Mappe of Fairyland"* by Bernard Sleigh. It looks like I have mighty big shoes to fill. In fact, it is one of the great pleasures of this occupation, finding kindred spirits who have paved a path for me to explore. And another great joy is that each of us has a different world of the imaginary to map.

Read more about the festival here. Yes, I desperately wish I could go.

And now, I've just discovered, via Google Alert, this exhibit at the Victoria & Albert Museum:
Mapping the Imagination: This display includes maps made to inform or to entertain, maps enhanced by imaginative embellishments, maps that show imaginary places, and works in which artists have adapted map iconography to express their ideas and experiences of place.
Right up my alley, wouldn't you agree? At least it's not so painful to miss this one, since it's not as if I could hop in the car and drive on over to London. Someday, perhaps, someday. Some day, I'll have a little amphibious, solar-powered car with a galley, to boot, and London will be just a short drive away. In the meantime, if you're there, feel free to go on my behalf.

(Incidentally, this exhibit looks of particular interest to Etsyians, as well.)


With many thanks to the almost-anonymous Dean who left a comment below, I can now start planning a visit -- or dare I dream -- visits to the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, sometime between March and June, to see that same exhibit currently at the Field Museum in Chicago. And it seems the city of Baltimore is planning a Festival of Maps in conjunction with the event. I'm so excited -- how could I not have known this? -- that I'm sitting perfectly still, lest I jump out of my skin and scare the cats (and trying, somewhat unsuccessfully, to breathe slowly). That, my friends, is very excited.


Dean said...

Well, lucky for you, the exhibit now at the Field Museum in Chicago will move east and open in Baltimore in March.

paintandink said...

WOWWWWWWWW! Dean, you have just made my day, week, month. Thank you so much. I'll start planning my visit(s) right away.

Anonymous said...

Well done Dean, you've made this girls day! Good luck with the new job.

Alida Saxon said...

I came by following your comment and I really enjoy your maps! I always loved making maps for my writing or such though I never got into selling them. That exhibition looks like it's going to be great. I'm particularly fond of Tolkien's maps.


Amy said...

Just to let you know,there is a blog associated with the upcoming Baltimore Festival of Maps opening in March. It is

tongue in cheek said...

Your maps will lead others, they will be give start, and direction to dream!

Prêt à Voyager said...

I knew about the Chicago Festival of Maps, but now Baltimore!?!? How exciting! Thanks for the tip!


paintandink said...

You're welcome, Anne, and thanks again to Dean.

I can't WAIT.

Prêt à Voyager said...

I officially signed up for the map making workshop. You know you want to too... FYI here's a link to a Baltimore Design Guide my friend and I wrote for design*sponge. Lots of cool stuff happening.


Hugh Yeman said...

Hi! I just found your blog the other day, and just finished a writeup of my own visit to the Field Museum in January. You may find this useful as a preview of what you'll see in Baltimore. Several of the recent entries represent spinoff investigations into items in the exhibit, but the main one is "Chicago Festival of Maps, Day 1: Field Museum".