Pictorial map of midtown Manhattan with the buildings rendered as a bird’s-eye view in isometric perspective. The map was produced by Hermann Bollmann, who developed elaborate and painstaking techniques to create accurate pictorial maps of cities. Bollmann created this map for the 1964 New York World's Fair, exhibiting a huge version on site. Smaller versions were issued in various formats including in a multilingual guidebook to the city, a separate two-sided folding pocket map for visitors to the World’s Fair, and in a limited edition for major advertisers of Reader’s Digest. Some 67,000 photographs were taken in preparation -- 17,000 aerial shots and the remainder taken from the ground. Each building was then hand drawn at a scale of 1:4,800.Nevertheless, the process was not completely mechanistic: streets were widened and heights of buildings were increased to assist with the readability of the map.
George Glazer Gallery's copy of this map was included in The Greatest Grid, an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York (December 2011 through June 2012) of maps documenting the development of the grid system of mapping Manhattan. It is also illustrated and described in the book accompanying the exhibition. According to the exhibition wall label this map “reveals the diversity of structures on Manhattan’s grid.” The book further notes:
[The rendering] highlights how the three-dimensional grid of the city is formed from individual buildings. The view demonstrates that the integrity of each rectangular block depends on the buildings that stand at its edge, and shows how the Midtown skyscrapers maximize that edge vertically as well as horizontally on the lot surface.
Hermann Bollmann was a German illustrator, graphic designer and cartographer. In the late 1940s he started producing pictorial maps as a way of depicting German cities after the bombing campaigns of World War II. Popular during the 18th and 19th centuries, the genre of the hand-drawn bird's-eye city map had virtually disappeared with the advent of aerial photography, but Bollmann revived it with great success due to his innovative methods combining photographic documentation with a sense of design in order to make highly detailed yet readable cityscapes. Most of his maps were produced from the 1950s through 1970s.
Full publication information: New York Pictorial Map Copyright Pictorial Maps, Inc. No. 40. Created by Hermann Bollmann for Pictorial Maps, Inc. 97 Warren Street, New York City. Litho by Barnes Press, Inc.
Condition: Generally very good, formerly folded as issued, so retaining fresh original colors. Now professionally flattened, deacidified, and backed with Japanese tissue.
Ballon, Hilary, ed. The Greatest Grid: The Master Plan of Manhattan 1811-2011. New York: Museum of the City of New York and Columbia University Press, 2012. Item 177. pp. 179-180.
Cohen, Paul E. and Augustyn, Robert T. Manhattan in Maps: 1527-1995. New York: Rizzoli, 1997. pp. 152-153.