The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are opening a new exhibit, featuring maps and other examples of cartography.
“Ever since the first attempts by the English to colonize America, artists and mapmakers used maps as a savvy marketing tactic to portray the New World as both abundant and rich in land and resources, often portraying America as a latter-day Garden of Eden,” according to the joint news release form the Art Museums and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
The exhibit opens in October and runs through March, 27, 2022.
Adults tickets are $14.99, tickets for children 6-12 years old are $8.99 and children younger than 6 years old are free. You can buy a single day ticket here.
Visitors can see 21 “extraordinary objects” from maps, prints, books and other artifacts never displayed by the museum or recently purchased, including a map of New England by Captain John Smith.
The maps on display showed different images from depictions of the Native Americans to decorative elements “to promote the promise of a life of opportunity there” or even self-portraits of the cartographer, such as the map done by John Smith.
“The decorative details on these maps sometimes contradict the conflicted and often violent colonization of North America, but they made Europeans familiar with and curious about the “New World,” encouraging settlement and investment,” said Katie McKinney, Colonial Williamsburg’s Margaret Beck Pritchard assistant curator of maps and prints, in a prepared statement. “The evolution of the symbols over time tells a powerful story about how iconography can reflect and embody cultural ideas and ambitions.”
Promoting America: Maps of the Colonies and the New Republic will open on Oct. 17 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, 301 S. Nassau St.
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