Maps will lead you to the Bruce Museum’s latest exhibition

Sebastian Münster, Marine and Land Monsters (Basel, 1552).Renaissance mapmakers always enhanced their product by adding decorative elements, making it more attractive to buyers. Münster outdid them all by cataloguing the many invented monsters he used. Photograph by Paul Mutino.

Sebastian Münster, Marine and Land Monsters (Basel, 1552).Renaissance mapmakers always enhanced their product by adding decorative elements, making it more attractive to buyers. Münster outdid them all by cataloguing the many invented monsters he used. Photograph by Paul Mutino.

The Bruce Museum’s latest exhibition will not be hard to find: It’s all about maps.

(Re)Discovering the “New World”: Maps and Sea Charts from the Age of Exploration opens in the Museum’s Lecture Gallery on Saturday, Feb. 7. Featuring more than 30 European-made maps and sea charts inspired by New World exploration, and published between 1511 and 1757, the exhibition presents a fascinating study in geographic and human progress, as well as a feast for the eyes.

Many of the woodcuts and metal plate engravings have original hand-applied color, as color printing was not yet available.

“These ancient maps represent Renaissance-period attempts by European ateliers to edify their clientele by revealing our ‘new’ hemisphere and its approaches, as discoveries and claims came ashore from those daring enough to pack their sea bags and head for the unknown,” says Jack A. Somer, who owns the collection.

Mr. Somer has organized the show at the Bruce Museum along with Anne von Stuelpnagel, the Museum’s director of exhibitions.

“More than five hundred years ago, two European empires began daringly and competitively seeking the most efficient seaborne routes to the riches of Arabia and The Orient—Spain sailing west, Portugal sailing east,” Mr. Somer said. “Mapmakers back home—nearly all landlubbers happy to sit by the fire— scrambled to gather the latest explorers’ reports so they could draw up-to-date maps and sell them to the wealthy as bound atlases. Keep in mind that these atlases were massive compendia that glorified leather-filled libraries and enriched cultural reputations. Maps weren’t always just an app on your iPhone.”

(Re)Discovering the “New World”: Maps and Sea Charts from the Age of Exploration opens on Feb.  7 and runs through May 31 at the Bruce. The exhibition is supported by The Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund.

The Bruce Museum is located at One Museum Drive. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm; closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for students up to 22 years, $6 for seniors and free for members and children less than five years. Individual admission is free on Tuesday. Free on-site parking is available and the Museum is accessible to individuals with disabilities.

For additional information, call the Bruce Museum at 203-869-0376 or visit the website at Brucemuseum.org.

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© Hersam Acorn. All rights reserved. The Greenwich Post, 10 Corbin Drive, Floor 3, Darien, CT 06820

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress