Whether they are using census data or the wrong colors or are designed for people who hate reading, we can never say no to an inventive, unusual or historical NYC map. Which is why we're particularly excited that the New York Transit Museum is hosting an exhibit exploring the history of transportation maps for the next year.
The recently-opened Navigating New York features a wide array of historic transit maps from the New York Transit Museum Archives, a selection of maps documenting railroad and ferry routes, guidebooks, mapmakers' tools, biking and walking itineraries, digital mapping apps and artistic maps that appeal to the imagination and stretch the boundaries of imagined cartography.
A few highlights (see the photos above) include a 1925 map of the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit (BMT) lines that uses color coding to distinguish between elevated lines and underground lines; Rebecca Solnit's City Of Women map; The Interborough Rapid Transit Company's special version of its map that highlighted the 1939-1940 World's Fair grounds; Massimo Vignellli's classic diagrammatic map; and graphic designer Paula Scher's painted map.
"Navigating New York tells the wonderful story of how maps have been used to passively provide a sense of place, to actively encourage—and many would argue steer—individual transportation choices and to become the canvas from which artists draw inspiration. And in so doing, maps reflect the story of how New York, as we know it, came to be," said Museum Director Concetta Bencivenga.
Navigating New York is open to the public through September 8th, 2019. The museum is located in Downtown Brooklyn at 99 Schermerhorn Street, and is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and is closed Mondays, major holidays and for special events. General admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children 2-17 years old, $5 and free on Wednesdays for senior citizens 62 years and up, and free for museum members.