The Festival of Maps is Coming

"All maps are good, but they are all different."

Tonight's opening quote comes from Vladimiro Valerio, a Venitian historian, and was pulled from a fantastic little article over at the International Herald-Tribune on the politics of globe- and map-making. It serves, I think, as an excellent introduction to the first of a series of posts that will cover the upcoming Festival of Maps in Chicago.

The FoM is described on its website as "a citywide celebration of humanity's greatest discoveries and the maps that record our boldest explorations." Dozens of museums, galleries, universities, and other cultural institutions across the Chicagoland area will host special exhibits of maps from and of all periods and places. And Where is going to blog it all. Well...most of it, anyway.

Keep your eyes peeled in the coming months for the image at the top of this post, as it will mark all FoM-related posts. Things will get especially interesting in early November when the event officially kicks off, but a handfull of exhibits are jumping the gun and starting early. The earliest opened this past Tuesday at the Art Institute of Chicago.

The first of a two-part series (the second will begin near the end of September), the AI's exhibit is entitled "The Capital of the 19th Century: Paris in Maps." It's a small, no-frills collection of maps of the French capital at the height of its prominence (aka "the long nineteenth century") housed in eight glass cases in the museum's Ryerson Library. It's a simple, quiet start to what looks to be a very grand Festival...and that's about all there is to say.

If you go, don't miss the small exhibit on LA-based digital architecture troupe Xefirotarch, which runs through October 28th (all of the dates in this post are, of course, for 2007). Their daring, sinuous, and quite frankly frightening designs are some of the most innovative I've seen in years. Even if you don't like the architecture, you'll marvel at the fact that the models don't collapse.

That's all for now. Remember, keep an eye out for the Where/FoM logo in the future, and make your travel plans now...this is going to be the cartogeek party of the century.

In Mapmaking, Disputes Over Geography (via The Map Room)

Festival of Maps

The Capital of the 19th Century: Paris in Maps (Art Institute of Chicago)


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