Sunday, July 3, 2022

New exhibit on ‘early propaganda’ maps to debut at this art museum

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg showcase treasures from the Foundation’s collection, which includes more than 67,000 period antiques and works of art and 7,000 pieces of folk art. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)
The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)

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.

Map of New England by Captain John Smith, cartographer and William Hole, engraver in 1616. (WYDaily/ Courtesy of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)
Map of New England by Captain John Smith, cartographer and William Hole, engraver in 1616. (WYDaily/ Courtesy of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)

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.

Buy tickets here or call 855-296-6627. For more information about the Art Museums and Colonial Williamsburg, follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

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Julia Marsiglianohttp://wydaily.com
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to julia@localvoicemedia.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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