Friday, July 3, 2009
This delightful German chart of North America is circa 1950. I wonder if the artist ever paid a visit before creating the map, or based the drawings on the history, myths and gossip (s)he had absorbed. The animals are plump and sociable, the foliage is dense throughout, and the number of planes and boats suggest this is the continent to go to. I think about what Germany must have been like in 1950, still recovering from the war, with all the conflicted emotions of a nation rebuilding itself. Maybe the artist got it just right; America was an optimistic place where farms flourished, cities sparkled and industry thrived. Maybe this map is also emblematic of the way America saw itself at that time, bright and full of possibilities.