For the 21st year, the Miami International Map Fair, the largest map fair in the world, will return to HistoryMiami February 8-9, 2014. This year, the Map Fair will be hosted in HistoryMiami’s newly expanded facility, the former home of the Miami Art Museum, adjacent to the museum’s current location on Downtown Miami’s Cultural Plaza.
Some of the interesting, rare and decorative maps to be showcased at this year’s fair include:
•van Keulen Map (1780) – Drawn earlier in the 18th century, this 1780 edition is considered a landmark in mapping Florida, Cuba and the Western Caribbean. The level of detail was well ahead of its time, including unprecedented accuracy in mapping the Florida Keys. Also included in the map were inset charts detailing developmental plans for the city of Havana, as well as charts of Matanzas Bay & Hondo Bay.
•Popple Map (1746) – The first map to show all Thirteen Colonies, including plans for harbor development along the Eastern seaboard, as well as archaic spellings of names like the ‘Western’/ ‘Atlantick’ Ocean and ‘South’ Sea, which we know today as the Pacific Ocean. Comprised of 20 sheets, the Popple Map is considered one of the two most important large- format maps of North America published in the 18th century. At a time when colonial control of North America was by no means certain, this map made a profound statement of England’s designs for dominance of the North American continent.
Held each year during the first weekend in February, the Miami International Map Fair provides both the serious collector and casual buyer with a weekend to browse antique maps, rare books, as well as attend a series of special topical lectures.
This year’s lecturers include:
•Alex J.C. Johnson, Ph.D. – author of the new book, The First Mapping of America: The General Survey of British North America, 1764-1775 (London: I.B. Tauris, 2014). He is a recognized academic and commercial specialist in historical geography, with a particular interest in the mapping of Great Britain and her former colonies in North America and the West Indies.
•Margaret Pritchard – the senior curator and curator of prints, maps and wallpaper for the Colonial Wiliamsburg Foundation. Margaret has lectured and published on topics relating to the collection for which she is responsible. Her most recent publication was a comprehensive catalog of the map collection at Colonial Williamsburg, Degress of Latutuide: Mapping Colonial America (Harry N. Abrams, 2002)
•Susan Schulten, Ph.D. – professor and chair of the history department at the University of Denver. She is the author of Mapping the Nation: History and Cartography in the Nineteenth-Century America (University of Chicago Press, 2012) and The Geographical Imagination in America, 1880-1950 (University of Chicago Press, 2001).
Also new to the fair for 2014 is a free, ‘Map-tacular’ Family Fun Day on Saturday, February 8. The Family Fun Day is open to the public and features interactive map exhibits for the whole family, as well as a photo opportunity with Super WHY from PBS Kids.
Daily admission to the Map Fair is $15 for adults and $5 for HistoryMiami members and for children 6-12. Fair hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 101 West Flagler Street in downtown Miami. Parking is available at the Cultural Center Parking Garage, 50 NW 2 Avenue. Visitors are also encouraged to bring in a map of their own collections for an expert evaluation!