Iconic America exhibition now online

We are very pleased to announce that an online version OML's 2012-2013 exhibition, Iconic America: The United States Map as a National Symbol; Highlights from the Fondersmith Collection of Cartographic Ephemera, is now installed on the OML website:

The symbolic use in modern American culture of the outline map of the United States of America is so widespread and pervasive that it can truly be called “iconic.” This exhibition reveals the manner in which the outline map of the U.S.A. has pervaded our modern culture, from sporadic instances in the 1800s to the great variety in the 1900s of political cartoons and presidential campaign memorabilia, jewelry, puzzles and games, book and magazine covers, and mass-produced souvenirs. Unless otherwise noted, the materials displayed here have been loaned by John Fondersmith from his personal collection of what he calls ushapia.

Jonathan Blumberg - Ushapia 2012

The exhibition has several sections:

  • Ushapia - defining the iconic symbol, or "logo map"
  • Creating the Iconic Map - the early history of the formation of the icon
  • Art Maps - the use of the icon in art
  • Wearing Ushapia - the logo in clothing and accessories
  • Campaign Memorabilia, Political Cartoons, and Book and Magazine Covers - the use of the icon in politics and culture
  • Decorative Ushapia, Household Ushapia, and Games and Puzzles - the proliferation of the icon on material culture
  • Maine Maps as Symbol - a sample of how Maine's outline has also been used as a icon of Maineness