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BY CRAIG CLINTON
WAS PUBLISHED IN THE SPRING 2016 issue of the OREGON HISTORICAL QUARTERLY and is now available online on the website of the Oregon Historical Society (click here)
The Oregon Historical Quarterly comments "In this heavily illustrated research article, Craig Clinton documents Fred A. Routledge's career as a commercial artist through a series of pictorial maps from the 1890s through 1930s. Although "personal details relating to Routledge's life and career are quite scarce," Clinton examines a range of illustrations to tell a story of his career from early street-level illustrations for the West Shore magazine to later birds-eye views of the Pacific Northwest. Routledge's maps not only documented existing landscapes, but also his "enduring engagement with the natural world and his belief in the transformative potential of humankind." The "quality of his pictorial map," explains Clinton, "was to become a significant feature of commercial travel cartography in the 1930s and beyond.""
Here at oldimprints.com one of our special interests is the revival of decorative mapmaking in the twentieth century. It's surprising and frustrating how difficult it is to find information on the artists and publishers of these wonderful graphics. So we're asking for leads to pursue in gathering information on a Chicago depression-era firm that issued a number of engaging and, at times, astonishing, pictorial maps, Colortext Publications. Read here a short article on what owner and researcher Craig Clinton has learned to date.