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Map, Connecticut, Pictorial, Connecticut College, New London, 1934 (Sold)

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Don Ray (after)
B. Townsend (co-creator)
The Connecticut College for Women, A Decorative Map
Connecticut College, New London, Connecticut: 1934
Hand-colored process print
Signed in matrix lower right: Don. Ray del.
15.75 x 22 inches, image and ruled border
18 x 24.24 inches, overall

Pictorial map of the Connecticut College for Women in New London, Connecticut, made in 1934. The school has since become coed and is known simply as Connecticut College. The map illustrates campus buildings labeled with small banners, and routes through the campus, along with whimsical illustrations of students, in a casual, cartoony style. Above the buildings are comments in quotes like “Silence is Requested” by the Library and “Save us a table” by the Thames building. The top and bottom borders contain small illustrations of other sites and events such as the Open Air Theater, Alumnae Parade, Mascot Hunt, ­­Senior Proclamation, and Fanning Initiation. There are also inset illustrations of a couple entering the “Knowlton Prom” and the “Moonlight Sing.” The map includes some playful takes on map conventions, with an allegorical figure of the blowing wind lower right, and a key labeled “Notes” to the left of the cartouche indicates the symbols for Foot Path, Lampposts, Automobiles, Trees, and Boundaries. There is a compass rose lower left. The cartouche reproduces the campus seal on a shield shape, topped by the profiles of two women in mortarboards flanking an open book beneath a banner with the date of the college’s founding, 1911. The map is enclosed within a simple ruled border, highlighted in gray. This is a rare map; only one other example of it — in the David A. Rumsey Map Collection — has been located by us. The offered map was hand colored, almost certainly as issued, and is consistent with the general color scheme of the Rumsey example.

Product description continues below.


The map is signed in the matrix”Don Ray del.” meaning that he was the artist. It also has a copyright notice in the matrix lower left: “© Don Ray 1934 + B. Townsend.” We have located no other information about these two persons, and they are not otherwise known as pictorial map artists. This type of college pictorial map was very popular in this era, generally commissioned from professional artists, but sometimes designed instead by talented students or professors there. The large number of inside jokes and references in this particular map – including various events some even relating to seniors – is an indication of a work designed as a memento at least with the input of a graduating senior. Nonetheless, Don Ray (a man’s name) would not have been a student at Connecticut college in 1934 because it was not co-ed then. Perhaps B. Townsend was a student there who contributed the ideas to Don Ray, an artist? Pending further research, this is all a matter of conjecture.


“The Connecticut College for Women, A Decorative Map.” David Rumsey Map Collection.–?qvq=w4s:/what%2FEducation;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=20&trs=58 (3 December 2019).

Additional information


20th Century