This example of his self-published map is a “Limited Gift Edition,” labeled as such with ordering information in the lower right, and signed in pencil. The cartouche, in the shape of a partially rolled, irregularly shaped sheet of paper, is embellished with a figure of Neptune holding a directional pointer decorated with an oval reading “Sarasota C of C Official Map” [C of C probably refers to “City of County”], a coy mermaid with a strand of pearls around hers and Neptune’s necks, and a small figure of a tourist with a camera. It was likely produced in the 1960s since that is when Utz moved to Sarasota and started designing maps. It also includes references to places that opened in 1960. Furthermore, the post office box address printed on the map does not include a zip code, which by the late 1960s were in widespread use, especially by businesses.
Thornton Robyn Utz was an American illustrator and portrait artist, best known for his work for the Saturday Evening Post, including 45 covers during the 1950s. Born in Memphis, he spent a year studying at the Academy of Art in Chicago in 1933. Utz and his colleagues, Ben Stahl, Cody Whitmore, and others, styled themselves The Chicago Gang of Illustrators. In 1944, a series of ads he drew for Bell Aircobra led to his acquiring an agent and regular commissions by the Saturday Evening Post. He moved his family to Westport, Connecticut, to be closer to their New York City offices. The Post favored upbeat or gently humorous Americana, and Utz became known for his portrayals of everyday suburban life in the postwar era. In the mid-1960s, his wife became ill, prompting a move to Sarasota, Florida. There he opened a map designing business, producing at least one pictorial map of Sarasota. After selling the business, the latter stage of his career saw Utz become a successful portrait artist, whose commissions included President Jimmy Carter and family, and the Princess of Monaco.
Full publication information: “Limited Gift Edition. Printed on natural parchment, shipped, unfolded and numbered, suitable for framing, ideal gift, autographed copy, $3.00 postpaid. Write to T. Utz, Maps, Box 5654, Sarasota, Fla. This is a copyrighted map and cannot be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the publishers.”
Condition: Generally very good. Recently professionally cleaned and deacidified and mounted for support on Japanese paper, with minor remaining toning, handling, wear.
“Thornton Utz.” Saturday Evening Post. 2019. https://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/artists/thornton-utz/ (22 January 2019).