The Hyde Park Breweries Association was founded in 1862 as the Hecker Brewery and began operating under the Hyde Park name in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1876. It operated continuously from that time forward, except for a hiatus during Prohibition. It became part of the international Carling Brewing Company in 1954 and closed in the late 1950s after a fire destroyed part of the brewery building. According to Modern Brewery Age magazine, the Hyde Park Brewery pioneered beer advertising on television in early 1947 as the “first brewery to sponsor a televised program” in the US, in 1947, with commercials featuring an animated cartoon character named Albert, The Stick Man.
The map is signed in the matrix lower left “Navigato.” Based on this signature, the date of the poster, and the fact that it was published in Chicago, we have identified the artist as Rocco D. Navigato, a Chicago painter and illustrator whose watercolors and posters today are in the collections of the National Gallery of Art and the Library of Congress. A review of his work on their websites show that he consistently signed his work in all block letters in the same style as the Hyde Park Bird Map offered here, in works dated from 1925 to c. 1940. He also illustrated children’s books. Navigato was a member of the Guild of Free Lance Artists and the Palette and Chisel Club.
Joe Godfrey, Jr., also designed other animal-themed maps, including an Illustrated Map of Dogs that was also published by Sportsman’s Map Company of Chicago and Big Game Fish Map (1936).
Full publication information: Designed and Compiled Especially for Hyde Park Breweries Ass’n Inc., St. Louis, Mo. by Joe Godfrey, Jr. Bird Map No. C 817. [Union Stamp] Copyright 1941 — Sportsman’s Map Co. — Chicago, Ill.
Condition: Generally very good, recently professionally cleaned and restored, with only light remaining, toning, wear, handling. Small loss in lower left margin professionally tipped in.
Falk, Peter Hastings, ed. Who Was Who in American Art. Madison, Connecticut: Sound View Press, 1985. p. 441.
“Chicago Temple by the Chicago Rapid Transit / Navigato.” Library of Congress. https://www.loc.gov/item/93500108/ (11 October 2022).
“Hyde Park Breweries Assn of Saint Louis, Missouri, USA.” Tavern Trove. https://www.taverntrove.com/hyde-park-breweries-assn-of-saint-louis-missouri-usa-br-3069.html?pID=1791 (11 October 2022).
Miller, Carl. “Beer and Television: Perfectly Tuned In.” All About Beer Magazine. 2002. Online at BeerHistory.com: https://www.beerhistory.com/library/holdings/beer_commercials.shtml (11 October 2022).
“Rocco Navigato.” National Gallery of Art. https://www.nga.gov/collection/artist-info.7898.html (11 October 2022).