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cARTography: Old History and New Trends in Map Art
They say travel is the one thing you can buy to make you happy (although we all know buying original art makes us happy). As I look back on fond and nostalgic memories of my travels, it is true that those “purchases” were in fact financial investments towards living a fulfilled life.

Map Art, South Africa, www.pinterest.com

What do you remember best of your adventures? The people you met? The foods you dared to try? The heights you climbed? The depths you explored? Perhaps the simple tokens you brought home as a reminder – train tickets, a coffee sleeve from that cafe on that corner that was just to die….
We all hold those momentous occasions close to heart. And now the new trend is to hold them close to art (feel free to call me by my pen name: the new Dr. Seuss). Map art is one of those trends, in both the art world, and the realm of DIY. I think it is long overdue that the lost art of cartography, and the appreciation of civil engineering and planning, come to light.

Map Art, Matthew Cusick, www.pinterest.com

Northern Europe in the 1600s was considered the Dutch Golden Age of cartography. Geographers not only put the latest science of the times behind their creations, but also art. Maps in this time period were purchased and hung as pieces of art. Moreover, these intricate and calculated compositions were recreated, studied and represented in artworks by many of the great masters in the late Renaissance period.

Vermeer, The Astronomer, 1668, www.princeton.edu

Today, artists are rebirthing their fascination with cartography,and the art and composition behind the science. Today, maps are presented as pieces of art themselves, displayed and curated like oil paintings. This trend seems to incorporate mixed media and collage when cartography is used to create a piece of art. Zatista represents artists who see maps as a material (equal to paint or paper) and artists who see the map as the entirety of a piece.

Labyrinth, by Karin Lowney-seed, www.zatista.com

Eindhoven, by Sandra Boskamp, www.zatista.com

With the popularity of Pinterest and the DIY craze, maps as  part of home projects are a significant niche. Things you could do at home, with maps from far off explorations, or maps from the car glove box – all become creative, and appealing.

Embroidered Map Art, http://pinterest.com

Gold Leaf Map Art, www.pinterest.com

Do you have the perfect space in your environment to incorporate a piece of cartographic artwork? Tell us where you would put it! And be sure to check out our Pinterest page for more map artworks from Zatista, and the map inspiration we are loving.
Keep Calm and Map On!

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Comments (2)

  1. Nancy Goodman Lawrence
    August 6, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    While you’re focusing on a map theme, I have lots of work on Zatista made from maps. You may want to add me to your Pinterest collection.

    Also, lots of people have pinned my map work on Pinterest.



  2. Jenny Harp
    December 7, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Would you know the name of the artist of South Africa map art that is the first image in this blog post?

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