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Old Maps; Expansion! Around the World with Ancient Western Maps

Orbis Terrarum by Petrus Plancius 1594

Regular Exhibition

Old Maps; Expansion! Around the World with Ancient Western Maps

June 9, 2018 (Sat.) – July 29 (Sun.)

European cartography began and reached its height between the 16th and 17th century. Map-making was originally centered in Amsterdam and shifted to Paris over time. Maps were progressively updated as explorers crossed the oceans in search of new continents and returned to Europe with new discoveries. Maps represented an evolution of how people perceived the world as they reached outward with their imaginations. As scholarly advances were made in such areas as astronomy and geography, so too did technological change come, changing map-making in fundamental ways, including the detail of what was represented in maps. The “Expansion" in the title of the exhibit refers to the expanding world as it appeared on paper, and how people were stimulated by the desire to know the unknown—motifs embodied in the world of cartography. The exhibition offers a close look at ancient maps to see how world maps evolved between the 16th and 19th centuries, which can also provide insight into how people’s world views changed during that time.

Major Works to Be Exhibited
Map of East Asia by Abraham Ortelius 1570
World Map by S. Münster 1571
Map of Japan by Mercator–Hondius 1605
Orbis Terrarum by Petrus Plancius 1594


Opening Hours 10:00 am—5:00 pm (Last admission: 4:30 pm)