Catalog Archive
Auction 174, Lot 391

"Mem-O-Map of Europe",

Subject: Europe

Period: 1946 (dated)


Color: Printed Color

9.5 x 12.8 inches
24.1 x 32.5 cm
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This colorful and deliberately lighthearted map of Europe was created for American servicemen returning to the USA after their tour of duty in Europe at the end of WWII. The map was conceived of and drawn by John Gottlieb Drury, who served two years as a 4th Grade Technician in the 214th Ordnance Battalion in the Pacific Theater during the war. Although there are a few reminders of the war -- such as signs for areas "off limits," a "40/8" railway car in southwestern France, and a flag for the 101st Airborne at Bastogne, Belgium -- the majority of the map is filled with cultural and historical images reminiscent of a tourist map. A sign posted in Spain reads "Mr. Kilroy isn't here" in Spanish, a play on the popular American meme. The intent for the map was for servicemen to commemorate their tour by marking their place of landing and departure, their route, and locations where they were stationed. Drury created five Mem-O-Maps just after the war, including ones for Okinawa, Korea & Japan, the Philippine Islands, and Oahu, Hawaii.

References: Curtis & Pedersen (War Map) pp. 216-219.

Condition: A

A clean example printed on heavier paper with some extraneous creasing. There are a few tiny tears along the edges of the sheet, not affecting the image.

Estimate: $100 - $130

Sold for: $60

Closed on 9/11/2019