Friday, February 4, 2011

Map Fair & Map Museum

While most of the US is suffering under cold & snowy weather, things look pretty nice down in Miami. This weekend there is a great reason to visit besides the great weather, the 2011 Miami Map Fair. Run by and held in the Historical Museum of South Florida, this is the preeminent map event of the year. 50 exhibitors are showing their wares on Saturday and Sunday, including many of the top map dealers in the world.

For the last four years I have been representing The Philadelphia Print Shop at the fair, but this year my partner, Donald H. Cresswell, will be attending instead. I envy him, for not only is the largest collection of available antique maps on display, but many of our friends in the business are either exhibiting or visiting. If you like antique maps, this is definitely the place to be (and don't forget your suntan lotion!).

One of the people who offen attends the map fair will be David J. Morgan, who just over a year ago opened a new non-profit museum, the CARTE Museum. Located at 2347 Christian Street in Baton Rouge, this museum was developed to make available to the public Dave's amazing collection for both research and exhibition. "Carte" is, of course, the French word for map, but Dave uses it also as an acronym for Cartographic Acquisition, Research, Teaching and Exhibition museum.

Dave's collection has been built over the past 40 years and its focus is on the Gulf Coast, though it is also strong in maps showing the political development of the United States. The collection includes complete atlases, books with cartographic content, and maps from atlases and separately issued. So far two exhibitions have been mounted, one of the discovery of the Mississippi River from 1513 to 1764, and the other on West Florida. Next week, the museum is opening a new exhibition "Mapping the Mississippi River and Its Tributaries," which covers the period from about 1750 to 1820. Dave is also planning a "jam-up Louisiana Statehood bicentennial exhibit" with an opening reception on April 30, 2012.

The museum is open to the public on Wednesdays from 9 to 5 or by appointment. Inquiries can be addressed to

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