magnificent maps
magnificent maps magnificent maps
jun 11, 2010

magnificent maps

the privy gallery

magnificent maps the british library, london april 30 – september 19, 2010

the british library in london is currently displaying ‘magnificent maps’, an exhibition that looks at the social, political and historical context of maps. the exhibit was designed by universal design studio, who was awarded the bid through a design competition. the show features a number of extremely rare maps, some of which have never been exhibited before, displayed in a series of symbolic architectural installations. each space has its own individual theme and are all linked together with a common threshold graphic, which frames the entry into the next room. the rooms’ themes are based on curatorial narratives that showcase different motives for creating maps beyond geographical representation. each threshold also introduces the visitor to the upcoming room, providing them with essential information and explanations. frau mauro mappa mundi. copy of a 15th century original. medieval circular planisphere of the (world map) made by venetian monk fra mauro. it is a typical portolan map with the south at the top. the original has not survived the centuries and the one on show is an antique exact copy made by frazer in 1804.

the audience chamber threshold

the bedchamber threshold

  ‘the island’ by stephen walter, 2006 contemporary map of london

‘the island’ (detail) by stephen walter, 2006

maps for the masses

forma romae urbis. c. 200 AD. fragment from a very large marble map of rome created under the emperor septimius severus and showed the floor plans of every major bath, temple and apartment in central rome. it was originally mounted on the external wall of the temple of peace but was later destroyed in the middle ages.

the merchant’s house

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