Maps: Finding our Place in the World – a New Exhibit at The Walters

We got a sneak peek at the brand new exhibit opening at The Walters and are here to say, it’s one of the best we’ve ever seen!

The Walters in itself has always featured some exquisite pieces that are breathtaking in beauty. But this exhibit in particular is different, because it is thought-provoking and educational, as well as being an exhibit aimed at making a change in our society.

The unique collection of one of a kind pieces that The Walters has discovered is truly amazing. From original maps penned by some of America’s most influential leaders like Lincoln and Washington, to the inventive maps of our early ancestors sculpting their shorelines, these maps look at everything from how to get where your going, to solving societal problems (by mapping where disease outbreak is most common to find the root cause of it, for example.) There’s the colorful and fun map of the Land of Make-Believe, which at least brought us back to the days when our parents read us nursery rhymes, and the navigational correctness of some of the earliest world maps on record. Our personal favorite, though, was the 4-minute geographical representation of the Civil War. Imagine seeing the progress of both Union and Confederate, and the death toll endured by both sides all within a few short minutes. (The result is simply astounding and we guarantee you will be mesmerized.)

The next part of the Maps exhibit was the Mapping the Cosmos display. We all know the awesomeness of the Hubble Telescope – it’s pretty much one of the few things we remember from our Elementary school science days. But this exhibit truly shows that our 5th grade teacher was right – the Hubble Telescope provides an eye into the way the Universe looks now, and how it did billions of years ago. The pictures that the Hubble has provided show galaxies in such in-depth detail that they almost seem to pop off the page like a 3-D movie would. And if you’ve ever wanted to see how stars are born, or how they die, the Hubble has provided an up-close and personal view of this incredible phenomenon.

Another portion of the exhibit was the Maps on Purpose exhibit, which showed how maps are moving people in our very own community to take action. Community members of neighborhoods in Baltimore that are going through “rebuilding” phases got involved in a map-making project that would display their concerns for the area, and how so much has changed since the neighborhood began. Even the children of the neighborhood got involved and drew pictures of themselves doing the things they love to do in the places they love to do them. By showing so many different views on this difficult challenge, the Maps on Purpose exhibit is giving a voice to those who need it.

We know that going to museums to look at beautiful paintings may get redundant. But with such an extensive and unique collection of maps – pretty much anywhere in the Nation – the Maps: Finding our Place in the World exhibit is truly one not to be missed. If you’re going to go to any museum this Spring, it should be the Walters for this exhibit.


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