1999 – 2000 Meetings

Date: September 16, 1999
Title: Re-Mapping the City: Perspective Views, Polite Society, and Virtual-Reality in Eighteenth-Century Britain
Speaker: Erin Blake
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

We have holograms and sophisticated computer graphics, but the eighteenth-century was also vitally interested in enhancing the ways people visualized space, even inventing new technology, like the zograscope and vue d’optique. Join us for the first meeting of our millennial season to hear Erin Blake tell us about these devices and how they were used to transcribe reality in the form of urban views.

Erin is a Newberry fellow and doctoral candidate in art history at Stanford University.

Date: November 18, 1999
Title: Planning for Chicago’s Next Millennium with GIS
Speakers: John Kasmuth and Larry Hanson, City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

Anyone who pays the least attention to the built environment of Chicago knows that the city planners have been working overtime. Every time you turn around, there’s a new, ambitious public works project, including one right outside the Newberry in Washington Square Park. An important ingredient in all this activity is the sophisticated GIS system that the city employs. This month, in recognition of National GIS Day, we will get a guided tour of the City’s GIS system from two of the people who make it work.

Date: December 19, 1999
Title: Awestruck by the Majesty of the Heavens: Artistic Perspectives from the History of Astronomy Collection
Speaker: Anna Felicity Friedman, Assistant Curator, Adler Planetarium
Location: The Adler Planetarium, 1300 South Lake Shore Drive

For our last meeting of the millennium, we’ll take a leap into space to see how cartographers have tackled the greatest canvass of all—the universe. Anna Friedman, CMS member, will give us a guided tour of the exhibit which she curated. The exhibit features a wide range of celestial charts and other works of art on paper with astronomical themes.

Date: January 6, 2000
Title: Cartography of the Portuguese World
Speaker: David Buisseret, University of Texas at Arlington
Location: East Hall, The Newberry Library

In a slide talk, the former director of the Newberry Library’s Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography reflects on the place of the Portuguese in the process of European expansion and offers a view of some of the Library’s remarkable Portuguese holdings, including the William B. Greenlee Collection, described by historian C. R. Boxer as “one of the finest of its kind.”

This program is co-sponsored by the Newberry Library’s Center for Public Programs.

Date: February 15, 2000
Title: The Anatomy and Physiology of a Map Collection
Speaker: Seymour Schwartz, M. D.
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

Seymour Schwartz is probably most widely known as a celebrated surgeon and the editor-in-chief of Principles of Surgery, a textbook now in its seventh edition. We map folk, though, know him as one of the great scholar collectors, in the tradition of Henry Wagner, Carl Wheat, and Louis Karpinski. Dr. Schwartz’s collections of American maps have formed the basis for two important books: The Mapping of America (co-authored by Ralph Ehrenberg and published in 1980) and The French and Indian War, 1754-1763: The Imperial Struggle for North America, which appeared in 1994. For his presentation, Dr. Schwartz borrows the language of medicine to meditate on his own career as a collector and the process of collection-building itself.

Date: March 16, 2000
Title: Mapping and Maps
Speaker: Ray Brod, Head of the Cartography Laboratory, Anthropology Department, University of Illinois at Chicago
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

One of the great advances in the history of cartography in recent decades has been an expansion of our whole conception of the field. Once upon a time, a history of cartography was a narrative about collectible printed maps produced in Western Europe from about 1500 to about 1800. Newer thinking takes into account maps and “maplike” images and constructs from a variety of cultures and time periods. Our March speaker feels that we all have our own unique ideas of what the world is really like. His presentation will help us stretch our concepts of mapping, presenting a variety of such “personal cartographies,” Ray Brod is a long-time member of the Chicago Map Society.

Date: April 12, 2000
Title: Maps That Lead to Chicago, 1507-1835
Speaker: Ulrich Danckers
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

In most histories, the story of Chicago is pretty thin before 1835. We know about DuSable and Fort Dearborn, but that’s about it. A new book is about to change all that. In Early Chicago, by Ulrich Danckers and Jane Meredith, with contributions from John Swenson and Helen Tanner, 1835 is the end of the story. In over 400 pages, the authors provide a veritable encyclopedia of life in these parts before Chicago was even chartered as a town. One of its valuable contributions is a list of maps showing Chicago, and this research will form the basis of Dr. Danckers’ talk. He will detail the progression of geographic knowledge from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the Chicago portage region, and will end with a sequence of new maps from the book to show the growing settlement along the banks of the Chicago River system prior to 1835. Signed copies of Early Chicago will be available for purchase at a discount.

Date: May 18, 2000
Title: Maps of the White City, 1893
Speaker: Diane Dillon, Assistant Professor of Art History, Northwestern University
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

The World’s Columbian Exposition, for which Chicago built a “White City” on the lakeshore, was one of the most notable of World’s Fairs. For Chicago, it was an epochal event in the cultural and social life of the city, with a profound impact on art and architecture, urban planning, literature, philanthropy, and . . . the making of maps. Diane Dillon, a Newberry Library fellow, will illustrate and discuss the wide variety of maps and views which were produced to promote and construct the grounds, to guide visitors, and to advertise products and places at the fair.