By: Miguel Covarrubius
Date: 1940 (circa) San Francisco
Dimensions: 22.5 x 33.5 inches (57.2 cm x 85.1 cm)
This is a fine print reproduction of a marvelous pictorial map that was published in 1940 for Pacific House of San Francisco. This is the fourth plate of a six-plate series entitled Pageant of the Pacific, which was ordered by the San Francisco Bay Expedition Company, for the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco in 1939.
This map is illustrated with a cornucopia of tiny figures representing the various industries and natural resources which abound in the area covered by the map. Covarrubius took time to list more than forty resources which contribute to the ‘Economy of the Pacific’, and to picture countless more. For example, pearl-bearing oysters are featured in many places, gemstones, rubber trees, oil wells, agricultural resources and products and… myriad industries and resources, too numerous to mention are represented here.
The internationally known Mexican-born artist, Miguel Covarrubius, was commissioned to bring the idea to life. Born in Mexico City, Miguel Covarrubias moved to New York in his young adulthood, financed by the Mexican government. Once there he was immediately accepted by New York’s literary and cultural elite, often referred to as The Smart Set.
A painter and caricaturist, theater set designer, ethnologist and art historian, he became well known throughout the world but especially in the United States, Mexico and Europe, with his artwork and celebrity caricatures having been featured in such publications as The New Yorker and Vanity Fair magazines. The contributions of Covarrubius in the field of ethnographic studies were significant. He was often referred to as a Renaissance man.
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What can be referred to as modern cartography has been around for over 550 years. Throughout that time an enormous amount of new land was discovered, cities were founded while others perished. International trade and travel became the norm, political borders were ever-changing, and numerous wars were waged. With all that being said, hundreds of thousands of maps were created that show such events and episodes in time.
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