I recently got the opportunity to visit the Baltimore Festival of
Maps at the Walters Art
Museum in Baltimore,MD.
Organized by the Field Museum
and Newberry Library in Chicago,
the main exhibit, “Maps: Finding Our Place in the World,” is the largest and
most diverse map display since the Baltimore’s
map festival over 50 years ago. The unique exhibit has brought in higher than
projected crowds since its grand opening on March 16 and will run through June
I had the pleasure of being able to view the entire exhibit
at the Walters when I went. In the main section of the exhibit there are an
assortment of maps ranging in style, projection, and age. The Baltimore Map
Festival has something for everyone–the map of J.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth, an
ancient coastline wood cut out, a computerized version of Washington D.C.
during the War of 1812 created by students at UMBC (University of Maryland
Baltimore County), and the game board for the game “Risk”, to name a few. One of
my favorite pieces was the computerized depiction of the Civil War, scaled down
to only four minutes, that showed the opposing sides’ territories on a United States
map. Another is a lady’s white glove that amazingly has a map of London drawn
on it, created by George Shove for the 1851 Great Exhibition. I also got to see
a version of the lion map of Belgium
and Holland that I featured in a
previous blog entry, “Art
Overall my favorite feature of the exhibit is the rotating
section “Maps on Purpose“.
These maps are of local Baltimore
neighborhoods and were created by children and other members of each community.
During my visit, the maps from Druid Hill Park,Tuscany Canterberry, and Patterson Park/Patterson Place were on display. This held a
great personal connection for me as my dad’s family is from Druid Hill Park;
it was really exciting to see a part of my family heritage on display.
I had an amazing trip to the Baltimore Map Festival at the Walters Art Museum and would highly
recommend making the trip. For more information about the exhibit at the
Walters go to their maps
home page. Additionally, for more information about the city wide festival
visit their site,
and to get the latest dish about maps and Baltimore
check out the official blog, “You
Are Here, Hon“.