1st Edition

Cartographic Expeditions and Visual Culture in the Nineteenth-Century Americas

Edited By Ernesto Capello, Julia B. Rosenbaum Copyright 2021
    268 Pages 90 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    268 Pages 90 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    During the nineteenth century, gridding, graphing, and surveying proliferated as never before as nations and empires expanded into hitherto "unknown" territories. Though nominally geared toward justifying territorial claims and collecting scientific data, expeditions also produced vast troves of visual and artistic material. This book considers the explosion of expeditionary mapping and its links to visual culture across the Americas, arguing that acts of measurement are also aesthetic acts. Such visual interventions intersect with new technologies, with sociopolitical power and conflict, and with shifting public tastes and consumption practices. Several key questions shape this examination: What kinds of nineteenth-century visual practices and technologies of seeing do these materials engage? How does scientific knowledge get translated into the visual and disseminated to the public? What are the commonalities and distinctions in mapping strategies between North and South America? How does the constitution of expeditionary lines reorder space and the natural landscape itself? The volume represents the first transnational and hemispheric analysis of nineteenth-century cartographic aesthetics, and features the multi-disciplinary perspective of historians, geographers, and art historians.

    1. Introduction: The Expeditionary Impulse

    Ernesto Capello and Julia B. Rosenbaum

    Part I: Seeing and Not Seeing

    2. Alexander von Humboldt: The Aesthetic Science of Landscape Pictures

    Alicia Lubowski-Jahn

    3. Triangulating the View: Art and the Great Surveys of the American West in the 1870s

    Joni L. Kinsey

    4. Cartographic Representation in the Age of Vernacular Landscape: Pictorial Metaphor in Stephen Long’s Map of the Country Drained by the Mississippi (1822)

    Kenneth Haltman

    5. Seeing Solitary Deserts Full of People: The Chorographic Commission in Colombia’s Eastern Plains, 1856

    Nancy P. Appelbaum

    Part II: Lines and Tracings 

    6. Intervisible Border: Photographs and Monuments Along the US-Mexico Boundary

    Katherine G. Morrissey

    7. "Visual Expeditions" Supporting Geopolitical Vindications: Maps, Photographs and Other Visual Devices in the Diplomatic Dispute over the Andes as a Natural Border (1900)

    Carla Lois

    8. Female Eyes on South America: Maria Graham in Brazil

    Katherine Manthorne  

    9. Science, Wonder, and Tourism in the Early Mapping of Yellowstone National Park

    James R. Akerman

    Part III: Art and the Expeditionary Impulse

    10. Delineating Land: Art, Mapping, and the Work of Frederic Edwin Church

    Julia B. Rosenbaum

    11. Albert Operti: An Arctic Historical Painter and the Popular Sublime

    Ernesto Capello


    Ernesto Capello is Professor of History at Macalester College.

    Julia B. Rosenbaum is Associate Professor of Art History and Visual Culture at Bard College.