Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New Map and Poster Exhibit Celebrates the Golden Age of Travel

I’m definitely a map geek. Mercator is a rock star to me, and I can’t wait to dig into Maphead, the new book from Ken Jennings (the Jeopardy! guy). I also love vintage travel posters. I’ve got a few of them hanging up around the house, including this great one from the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

So I’m really looking forward to the October 14th opening of a new exhibit at Boston’s Grand Circle Gallery: “Journeys through the Mediterranean: Maps, Guides and Posters from the Golden Age of Travel.” The exhibit will pair Grand Circle Gallery’s collection of vintage travel posters from the region with a selection of antique maps and pocket travel guides from WardMaps.

Not only are the vintage travel posters so colorful and evocative of a different age, but the rare maps that will be on display, including those from German publisher Wagener & Debes that depict cities and historic sites as they were in the late 1800s and early 1900s, are works of art as well.

Of particular interest will be a display from WardMaps’ collection of antique Baedeker travel guides and maps covering destination sites in Italy, France, Greece, Northern Africa, Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine. The Baedeker travel guides date from the mid-1800s. With their red leather cover and regal, gold lettering, Karl Baedeker’s guides were considered superior to other travel guides of the day due to their detailed and accurate information on accommodations, transportation, pricing and rating system of the given destination.

The opening of the exhibit coincides with the Fort Point Fall Open Studios the weekend of October 14-16. More than 150 artists’ studios in the district will be open to the public for this popular weekend event; there is no charge for admission and free parking is available.

While it may not rise to the level of Venice’s Grand Canal, the Fort Point Channel neighborhood will also be represented in the exhibit as a small selection of antique maps of the neighborhood will be on display.

The Grand Circle Gallery is located at 347 Congress Street. Hours are Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 11:00am-6:00pm and Thursday, 11:00am-8:00pm. Admission is free, and the gallery is handicap accessible. The exhibit runs through January 28, 2012.

For more general information, to schedule a private tour, or for more details about special programming, please visit www.gct.com/grandcirclegallery or call 617-346-6459.

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