By: Millard Sheets
Date of Original: 1950 (circa) San Francisco
Original Size: 14.75 x 21.5 inches (37.5 cm x 54.6 cm)
At the time Millard Sheets was commissioned to do this poster he was known as one of America’s most versatile and distinguished painters. Although Sheets was best known for his water colors, he was talented in myriad techniques and approaches, from major mural commissions, to illustrations for magazines. He worked as a technical advisor on motion pictures, and taught and lectured at colleges and universities.
This is the second poster in a pair which was commissioned by the American Trust Company San Francisco. The first depicted the historical events which shaped the state’s destiny, while this one depicts the state as it was in the mid-twentieth century. The Panorama of Today pictures the infinite variety of resources, activities and opportunities that have materialized, ‘surpassing the boldest dreams of a century ago in this land that grew from gold’. The state’s fertility starts high in its mountain ranges with the water provided by heavy snowfall each year. This water is used in myriad ways; for agriculture, transportation, electric power, and for sports and recreation.
The importance of Northern California’s abundance of resources can’t be overstated, and this pictorial map attempts to do it justice with its colorful and lively representations of the many varieties of wealth which are to be found in this area of the state.
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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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