Platt, Joseph B. (mapmaker).
New York. Washington Square Bookshop. 1925.
Color pictographic / pictorial map poster, 30 1/2 x 38 inches, professionally mounted on linen. Originally folded. Approximately 3 x 3 inch paper loss to lower edge (at text "Bagdad") now infilled; couple of tears in image now visible only on close inspection; light wear to folds and fold intersections. A vibrant bird's eye view of New York City humorously designed by Joseph B. Platt, this bold map published in 1925 was the harbinger of the popularity of pictorial maps in the United States. The map is bordered by decorative text that reads "Here is a map to give you pleasure, a town reduced to your mantel's measure, city of gayety, city of gold, your Bagdad on Hudson, three hundred years old". This scarce map, published to celebrate the tricentenary of the purchase of Manhattan by the Dutch ("Little Miss New York Born 1626" reads a banner flying from the small plane to the right of the central compass rose), is quite extraordinarily modernist in color and character. It employs some of the graphic features of the new style of "wonder map" developed by MacDonald Gill in his London Underground map posters of the early teens and twenties, notably the "speech balloons" with comic quips explicating the city history and contemporary character, and also in its decorative border with text of civic pride. However in the almost abstract coloration of its startling color palette, it stands alone. Examples of the quips: "Is this map to be formal or informal?"; a couple looking at the Woolworth Building exclaim "Oh Boy! That's some stack of dimes"; in Harlem "Red hot mama Strut Yo' Stuff." The map was printed by the Ritchey Litho Corp. WorldCat lists a single library holding for this map, at Brown University; another copy is located at the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center (Boston Public Library) and at the Rumsey Map Center. Item #54289