Charming Illustrated Maps Illuminate the Character of New York City
A new exhibit highlights beautiful, funny, and intriguing illustrated maps of the Big Apple from New York Public Library’s huge collection.
New York City has always attracted mapmakers. Its instantly recognizable street grid, intensely diverse populace, and iconic, ever-changing skyline have provided endless inspiration for cartographers throughout history. Perhaps nowhere is that more evident than in pictorial maps, filled with illustrations that reflect New York’s culture at the time they were created.
One of the earliest pictorial maps of the city (above) depicts New Amsterdam as it stood when the British took the city and renamed it New York in 1664. The map shows the tip of Manhattan Island covered in gardens ringed with buildings, and British Man-of-war ships occupy the surrounding waterways.
This rare map is among those carefully selected from the New York Public Library’s massive cartography collection for an