By: Miguel Covarrubias
Date: 1942 (published) New York
Dimensions: 25 x 36.25 inches (63.5 x 92 cm)
A marvelous pictorial map of the United States with parts of Canada and Mexico, by the famous illustrator Miguel Covarrubias.
The map is illustrated with natural features such as mountain ranges, trees, and agricultural products. Flora and fauna of various regions such as a crab in Maryland, a flamingo in Florida, and cacti in the desert Southwest are depicted. Skyscrapers and landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty are shown, along with oil wells in Texas and factories in the East and Midwest.
America’s aboriginal peoples along with their ancestral dwellings can be found within the southwestern states and northern plains. Ancient traditions such as snake dancing and religious ceremonies of various indigenous tribes are also detailed.
American farmers, ranchers and cowboys generously populate the map along with their produce, from the citrus, cotton and tobacco farm of the south to the corn and wheat of the central states, and the variety of fruits and vegetables grown along the Pacific coastal region.
Industrial areas pictorially reflect the industries of the day, including the steel industry of the mid-west, oil industry of Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, silver mines of Nevada, and the timber industries of the northeastern states and pacific northwest.
In Canada a Royal Canadian Mountie is shown with a criminal in tow, and Canada’s boreal forests (aka taiga) are clearly depicted, with wildlife included. Mexico features such easily identifiable icons as a vaquero galloping with rope looped and poised at the ready, a classical work of pottery from indigenous peoples at the border between the countries, a burro, and cotton in full bloom.
All manner of sea creatures from fish to hard shell people the oceans, which are further embellished with myriad seagoing vessels. The decorative title cartouche features an American eagle shield surmounted by a ribbon banner. The outer border of the map is a coordinate degree scale.
Miguel Covarrubias — artist, author, ethnologist, and anthropologist — was born in Mexico City in 1904. In 1923 he moved to New York City where he became a popular and well-known illustrator, working for such prestigious publications as Vanity Fair and the New Yorker. He traveled the world became interested in ethnography and anthropology, which he integrated with his artistic talents in his maps, which he produced for publication and as murals. He developed a recognizable style that was aligned with that of Mexican mural painters such as Diego Rivera, whom he knew personally.
Condition: Map is in B condition, previous dry-mounted to a backing board, now free and laid on linen backed paper for preservation and presentation purposes. Some paper loss tot he corners and lower margin are apparent, but have been artistically filled in. A few other imperfections such a scrapes and tiny paper pulls are only really visibly upon close examination. Colors are somewhat darkened with age but still vibrant and lovely.
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