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Amusing map of the United States, from the perspective of a proud Texan viewing his state in oversized proportion to the entire continent. Places and names throughout the states are often incorrect or fictitious, satirizing a parochial attitude towards other parts of the country. For example, the Northeastern states are humorously shown as “unannexed territory,” and the western states as “ceded territory.” The title is in the cartouche at lower right, along with the legend, “Scale: One inch = 6 Texas Grapefruit.”Before this map was sold, it was featured in the March 2007 issue of Architectural Digest in a shopping feature on the George Glazer Gallery (see it here).
Decorative details of native flora and fauna, people, sites, etc. are throughout the map and borders. They include a tornado (called “interpanhandle wheat harverster”), a rattlesnake (“orneriest rattlesnakes”), and a rodeo cowboy (“the man that couldn’t be throw’d and the horse that couldn’t be rode.”). The Alamo and San Jacinto Monument are among the border illustrations.
The map follows the formula (perhaps intentionally) of the popular pictorial map by Daniel K. Wallingford, A New Yorker's Idea of the United States of America, which affectionately satirized chauvinistic New Yorkers. First published in 1936, Wallingford’s map was updated and reprinted for the 1939 New York World’s Fair.
Mark Storm was a painter and sculptor specializing in western genre scenes. He was born in Valdez, Alaska, the son of a mining engineer, and grew up in a series of towns in Alaska, Oregon, California and one year in Mexico, before ending up in Texas. He attended the University of Texas from 1930-34. From 1946, he lived in Houston. Storm began his career as a commercial artist and illustrator, and began also making Western themed fine art in the 1940s. Beginning in the early Sixties, he gradually tapered off the commercial work to concentrate on painting and sculpture. Storm became a member of the Texas Cowboy Artists Association in 1973, served as its president in 1975-76, and participated regularly in their exhibitions. He was named Texas Cowboy Artist of the Year in 1980 and 1981 and a contributor to the book XIT, The American Cowboy: An Exploration in Art and Words by Caleb Pirtle (1975). Storm completed commissions for oil paintings and a life-size portrait sculpture for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. His works are also in the Museum of Natural Science, Houston; various corporate collections, and the Medford Collection of Western Art at the City Hall of Lufkin, Texas.
Complete Cartouche: “Official Texas brags Map of North America. Published by John Randolph, P.O. Box 6507 Houston 5, Texas, Mark Storm, Cartographer. Scale: One inch = 6 Texas Grapefruit”
Hollister, Dean, Amy I. Furman, Mary Bruccoli and Tamara Adams, eds. Who’s Who in American Art. New York: R.R. Bowker, 1989. p. 1032.
“Mark Storm.” AskArt.com. 2000-2006. http://www.askart.com/askart/s/mark_storm/mark_storm.aspx (16 May 2006).
“Mark Storm.” City Hall Art Collection: City of Lufkin, Texas. http://www.cityoflufkin.com/art/pdfs/Mark%20Storm.pdf and http://www.cityoflufkin.com/art/ (16 May 2006).