Pictures from an Expedition: Aesthetics of Cartographic Exploration in the Americas

“America divided into North and South with their several subdivisions and the newest discoveries” by Robert Laurie and James Whittle, 1800.

“America divided into North and South with their several subdivisions and the newest discoveries” by Robert Laurie and James Whittle, 1800. Newberry Library, Baskes Collection Oversize G1015 .R63 1801.

A Symposium at the Newberry
Thursday, June 20, 2013Friday, June 21, 2013

Ruggles Hall

Center for the History of Cartography Programs

The nineteenth century represents a high point in mapping expeditions at the hemispheric level as nations expanded into hitherto “unknown” territories. These expeditions produced vast troves of visual and artistic material. Alongside maps, these included sketches, drawings, paintings, photographs, and tourist brochures. The symposium focuses attention on maps as aesthetic objects produced in dialogue with other aspects of nineteenth-century visual culture. Papers by prominent and emerging scholars place the historical development of American cartographic aesthetics into hemispheric relief in order to investigate commonalities and distinctions in both the United States and Latin America.

Program Schedule

Thursday, June 20, 2013

9 am-9:30 am: General Welcome and Introduction to Newberry Collection

9:30 am-11:20 am: Session 1: Privileged Perspectives

Joni Kinsey, University of Iowa: “Triangulating the View: The Allied Arts of the Great Surveys”

Marci Clark, The Graduate Center, CUNY: “Frederick S. Dellenbaugh – Framing and ‘Breaking the Wilderness’”

Ernesto Capello, Macalester College: “The Trace of Geodetic Exploration: Between Science and Art in Polar and Equatorial Expeditions”

Discussant: Susan Schulten, University of Denver

11:30 am- 1:20 pm: Session 2: Seeing and Marking

Jason Weems, University of California— Riverside: “Sight in Sediment: Stratigraphy, History and Landscape Representation in the Americas, circa 1877”

Imre Demhardt, University of Texas at Arlington: “‘Truer to Nature:’ Aestheticizing the Early Cartography of the Colorado River”

Kenneth Haltman, University of Oklahoma: “Cartography and Representation in the Age of Vernacular Landscape: Pictorial Metaphor in Stephen Long’s Map of the Country Drained by the Mississippi (1822)”

Discussant: Andrew Walker, Amon Carter Museum of American Art

3 pm- 4:40 pm: Session 3: The Imperial View

Magali Carrera, University of Massachusetts—Dartmouth: “A French Officer’s Album: Imperial Seeing in Mexico”

Nancy Appelbaum, Binghamton University: “Seeing the National Territory through the Eyes of Others: The Colombian Chorographic Commission in Casanare”

Scott Manning Stevens, The Newberry Library: “Mapping and Removal”

Discussant: Barbara E. Mundy, Fordham University

Friday, June 21, 2013

9 am- 10:50 am: Session 4: Political Borders, Visual Lines

Mary Peterson Zundo, University of Illinois: “Cutting the Vista: James Alden and the Art of the Forty-Ninth Parallel, 1857-1861”

Katherine Morrissey,University of Arizona : “Mapping the Border: Photographs and Monuments along the US/Mexico and Mexico/ Guatemala Boundaries”

Carla Lois, Universidad de Buenos Aires & CONICET: “Scientific Vision: Maps, Photographs and Other Visual Devices in the Diplomatic Dispute over the Andes as a Natural Border (1900)”

Discussant: Matthew Edney, University of Southern Maine

11 am- 1 pm: Session 5: “Emplacement”

Amanda Murphyao, Carleton University: “‘To hell and gone:’ Cartography, Cartoons, and Caricatures of Alaska, 1867-1903”

Richard Francaviglia, University of Texas at Arlington: “Practical and Beautiful: The Aesthetics of Nineteenth-Century Mormon Mapmaking”

James R. Akerman, The Newberry Library: “Science, Wonder, and Tourism in the Early Mapping of Yellowstone National Park”

Julia Rosenbaum, Bard College: “Frederic Edwin Church’s Olana as a Performative Expedition”

Discussant: Katherine Manthorne, The Graduate Center, CUNY

2:30 pm- 3:30 pm: Final Roundtable

Cost and Registration Information 

No registration fee is required to attend the symposium. However, persons wishing to attend must register in advance by contacting Kristin Emery (; 312-255-3657) or Jim Akerman (; 312-255-3523). Registrations will be accommodated on a first-come, first-serve basis.