Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Whistler's Map

James Abbott McNeill Whistler was one of the most influential artists of the 19th Century. His best known work is his portrait of his Mother. Lesser known is his map of Anacapa Island in southern California.
Whistler was briefly employed in the cartographic section of the US Coast Survey where he learned to etch. He thought the Anacapa map looked dull so he added two flocks of gulls flying over the rocky cliffs.
His unconventional works habits led to his dismissal only three months into the job. These unapproved artistic flourishes may have contributed to the early demise of his cartographic career.

The National Archives holds three prints of his maps. More info about the Anacapa Island map can be found on their website.

1 comment:

Michael5000 said...

That is just too cool!