"A Map of New York / A Chart Neither Too Literal Nor Too Emotional, Shewing the City New York Replete with the Wondrous Spectacles, Mysteries, and Pastimes of the Natives...",
Subject: New York City, New York
Period: 1939 (dated)
Color: Printed Color
25.9 x 19.9 inches
65.8 x 50.5 cm
This superb, Art Deco map of Manhattan was created by Russell Patterson for Macy's in honor of the New York World's Fair in 1939. Shown in a bird's-eye perspective, this map is reminiscent of the style of MacDonald Gill with its yellow streets, three-dimensional buildings, whimsical imagery, and place names listed in banners. The streets are filled with New Yorkers going about their day and adding color commentary. Macy's department store is featured near the center of the map, and the World's Fairgrounds are shown in Queens. Four important landmarks are depicted in the corners of the map: Broadway, Fifth Avenue, the Statue of Liberty, and Wall Street.
Russell Patterson (1893-1977) was an American cartoonist, illustrator and set designer who led an interesting and varied career. He studied art during his twenties both at the Chicago Art Institute and under Claude Monet in Paris, France. Although the title cartouche notes Patterson as a "New York artist," he lived in Nebraska, Montreal, Chicago and Paris before moving to New York in his early thirties. During his height, Patterson became known for his illustrations of Jazz Age women that graced the covers and interiors of magazines such as Life, Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Cosmopolitan. He also worked on movies in Hollywood as a costume and set designer, as well as illustrated comic strips for newspapers, including "Mamie" from 1951 to 1956.
Issued folding, and now flattened with very light toning. The map has been professionally backed in thin, archival tissue to repair some separations along the folds, a couple of tears adjacent to the folds at bottom center and far left, and a chip in the left blank margin.