Conference and Lectures on Maps: A Guided Journey through Maps in Everyday Life

Today, maps are primarily tools to help us reach our destination, but in the past they played a much more diverse role. Shaping everything from commercial to social activities, maps were an integral part of everyday life for citizens of the new United States.

“In every house and shop, an American map has been unrolled and daily studied…and every citizen finds himself a skilled student of the condition, means, and future of this continent,” noted Ralph Waldo Emerson.


This Friday and Saturday, map collectors and dealers, curators and professors, students and map enthusiasts will gather at Winterthur for our conference Common Destinations: Maps in the American Experience, building on themes from the landmark exhibition of the same name, on view now in the Winterthur Galleries through January 5, 2014. The distinguished group of speakers and workshop leaders will present on topics ranging from maps of colonial America to maps of the Mississippi river to maps of the Civil War. Brochure.

The fun will continue on October 24 with a lunchtime lecture by Catharine Dann Roeber titled “Winterthur’s Map Treasures Revealed: Gems from the Collection.” The talk will highlight maps and prints that are not featured in the Common Destinations exhibition. Winterthur’s museum and library holdings of printed works and other objects depicting place are quite extensive. Featured in the talk will be unexpected, amusing, and important maps and print ranging in date from the 15th century into the 20th century.

Columbus Map

The Common Destinations Lecture Series will wrap up on November 21 when Dr. Martin Bruckner, guest curator of the exhibition, will deliver a lecture “Beyond the Golden Age of American Cartography.”

Don’t miss the opportunity to see the innovation exhibition featuring Winterthur’s fascinating collection of traditional maps in a variety of formats as well as rare map-related objects such as pocket globes, ladies’ fans, and printed handkerchiefs. And we welcome you to join us for these lectures and for other upcoming events!

trade card  68x164.180 (ill)The lunchtime lectures take place 12:15–1:15 in the Rotunda on Thursday, October 24, and Thursday, November 21. Members free. Included with admission.

The conference is supported in part by a grant from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Delaware.


The exhibition is presented by

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With support in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and with additional support from Potter Anderson & Coroon LLP and Office of the Provost, University of Delaware.




Post by: Catharine Dann Roeber, PhD, curatorial intern at Winterthur Museum.

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