Universe of Amsterdam: great exhibition at Royal Palace Amsterdam

After a summer full of map stuff (hosting the International Conference on the History of Cartography in Amsterdam in July was definately a highlight and an incredible adventure for me. Now, I am back at Mapsandthecity.com and planning to pick up on blogging more often. So, if you have any mappy suggestions for me to blog about, feel free to drop me a note!

But first things first. You still have a few weeks left (until 22 September to be exact) to visit an incredible exhibition in Amsterdam: The Universe of Amsterdam in the Royal Palace Amsterdam.
The eye catchers of the exhibition (but actually for the palace itself as well!) are the huge floor maps in the middle of the Citizen’s Hall of the Royal Palace. They are the largest maps in the entire world! The three maps of the world and the night sky each measure 624 centimetres in diameter. They are an essential part of the design conceived by the architect Jacob van Campen for this building: his entire concept was based on creating the impressive town hall as a miniature universe. Hence the title of the exhibition.

The exhibition focuses on the role of Amsterdam in the Golden Age: productivity of maps and atlases was huge in Amsterdam in the seventeenth and eighteenth century. The great and informative exhibition in produced in partnership with Allard Pierson│ The Collections of the University of Amsterdam, and contains beautiful loans such as the impressive Blaeu Cabinet.
Make sure to visit this expo before September 22!

Marginalia in cARTography

From next week on, there is an exhibition on show in the Chazen Museum of Art called Marginalia in cARTography.This exhibition (February 28 until May 18) explores the visual discourse between marginal artistic images and the maps where they appear, as this marginalia sheds light on the content and purpose of the maps, their authors and patrons, and on the historical period when they were made. The exhibition also explores cartography as an art form, with a focus on the representations in the map margins. Guest curator is Sandra Sáenz-López Pérez, an Spanish art historian who specializes in the iconographical analysis of maps and the artistic interest of historical cartography.

If you don’t happen to be around the corner of Wisconsin (like me), you might like the fact that the catalogue is downloadable here.


Map: Blaeu, Willem Janszoon, Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica ac Hydrographica Tabula, Map, Amsterdam, 1635, 41 x 54 cm., Courtesy of the Department of Special Collections, Memorial Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Beautiful Sea Charts Exhibition

This is a true beauty and a great excuse to go back to Paris real soon. In the Bibliothèque nationale de France you can find this exhibition (until January 27th 2013): L’Âge d’or des cartes marines – Quand l’Europe découvrait le monde (The Golden Age of Sea Charts).

Not alone are the maps in the exhibition beautiful and gives the expo a great overview of the discovery of the world and this category of maps, the library did a great job on presenting the subject. The website looks stunning. There should be a free iPhone and iPad app for the exhibition any day now, the catalogue looks very promising and the design of the exhibition (by Véronique Dollfus et Jeanne Bovier-Lapierre) should give you the immediate feeling you step into a portolan chart. Plus: 350 maps are made available on Gallica (the digital ‘jewel box’ of the library). This expo is a must go if you ask me. And let me know if you’ve visited the BnF!

Biggy Berlin

Our friends at Carticulate always share cool stuff like this project (they found through The Atlantic Cities, and what I in my turn am happy to share with you guys). In Berlin the 775th birthday of the city is celebrated with a huge map (2.500 meter, scale 1:775). The birthday present is created by eight artists and opens for the public on August 25th. Here is more information on the programme 775 years of Berlin (and where you can find this map on the map).


photo: Thomas Peter for Reuters

photo: Sean Gallup for Getty Images

Win tickets for Nuit Blanche Amsterdam

Yes, a lot of the posts on this blog are about maps. But it is called Maps and the City for a reason: besides the obvious love for maps we also write about urban discoveries. This Saturday -June 16th- Amsterdam is the place to be for some proper urban updating. Nuit Blanche takes place, an annual nighttime festival about art and culture: your chance to ‘pull a cultural all-nighter’. From 7pm to 7am, you can join the ‘urban expedition’ to discover re-used empty office buildings, strange home collections and other hidden gems in the centre and eastern part of the city. Nuit Blanche was originally organised in Paris and nowadays cities worldwide picked up the concept. This is the third edition of Nuit Blanche Amsterdam, counting over 100 involved creatives. Impressive!

You can start your night with a Nuit Blanche dinner at Krux (Eastern part of Amsterdam) or Sea Palace (in the centre), and continue your expedition with dance, poetry, a Ramses Shaffy cover contest, street art, music and much, much more.  Check the programme on www.nuitblancheamsterdam.nl and do check the awesome trailer below. (Passepartout tickets are 17,50 euros, you can buy tickets online.)

Do you want to join the Nuit Blanche expedition on Saturday the 16th of June? Tell us why! Nuit Blanche has made 2 passe partouts available to give away to Maps and the City readers. Send an email to marleen [a] mapsandthecity.com or leave a comment on the Maps and the City Facebook page to win.  The two lucky winners will be announced on Thursday the 14th. 


Cool Globes indeed

Looking for something nice to do outside in Amsterdam? Check out the Cool Globes expo on Westergasterrein: an initiative that started with the Clinton Global Initiative in 2005 and grew out into a travelling exhibition. After for example Chicago and Copenhagen it’s now Amsterdam’s turn. The goal? More awareness about climate change. The result? A pretty cool expo with globes you can check out on the beautiful Westergasterrein in Amsterdam. And hopefully also some extra people thinking about their energy & water use…

Cool Globes
1014 DA Amsterdam

Free outdoor exhibition, until September 2011.