April 19, 2013:
60 W Walton St

Posted April 19, 2013

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At the Newberry Library, one of the country’s finest research institutions—its curator of maps, James Akerman, generously guided us through the Library’s vast holdings of cartographic material. Some of these maps tie in with the institution’s focused research interests, such as the history of nineteenth-century westward expansion along the growing network of railway lines (we are shown here looking at maps of Iowa and Nebraska published by the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad company); this subject was tangentially touched upon in an exhibition project undertaken by Goshka Macuga in 2009—the first time she crossed paths with Aby Warburg. Other findings concern the ethnic make-up of Chicago’s mosaic of neighborhoods around the turn of the century and a collection of materials related to Alexander von Humboldt, whom Goshka is thinking about with an eye on an exhibition project in Berlin in 2014. Historical maps of Chicago are of course scrutinized with a couple of predictable questions in mind: what stood where the MCA now stands, or is my house on this map?

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