New York City..
[New York, 1964]
New York Map-Guide.
33 ¾ x 44 ½ inches. Color lithograph folding map; some splitting at junctures of folds, very good. Guide present and complete, worn at corners, very good.
This masterpiece of modern cartographic art – Bollmann’s bird’s eye view of midtown Manhattan – presents the area at the height of the skyscraper era. Bollmann’s artistic achievement was to create an image of great precision, while employing subtle distortion and exaggeration to emphasize scale and clarity. The entire work was drawn by hand, and its preparation boasted the use of over 67,000 photographs, 17,000 of which were aerial. Rather than rely entirely on photorealism, Bollmann widened the streets to keep the image uncluttered; his view dispenses with perspective to maintain a uniform scale for all the buildings and allow comparison of size. The result captures the highest concentration of skyscrapers in the world of its day, presenting each with its uniquely recognizable profile: the iconic Empire State building, the graceful Art Deco curves of the Chrysler building, the sleek blade of the United Nations, and the ultra-modern helicopter pad of the Pan Am building.
A mammoth version of this map was displayed at the 1964 World’s Fair; this example (as is the case with most available on the market) was one of those sold before and during the Fair for both promotion and as a guide to the city. Corporate and business sponsors of the project could have their businesses marked in the body of the view. For example, American Airlines ticket offices can be found marked throughout the view, and a sharp eye will find B. Altman’s department store, kitty-corner from the Empire State Building; many antique map collections had their beginning with purchases made on the eighth floor of that storied building. The verso of the map is a detailed and large-scale subway map of the five boroughs, showing the three subway lines in operation at the time: the IRT, the BMT and the IND.
This issue of the map, lithographed in New York by Barnes Press, is bolder and more attractive than the contemporaneous edition printed by Verlag Busche in West Germany.
* Augustyn, R. T., Cohen, P., Manhattan in Maps 152 - 153.