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Mapping Wonderlands

Mapping Wonderlands: Illustrated Cartography of Arizona, 1912–1962

Dori Griffin
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 224
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  • Book Info
    Mapping Wonderlands
    Book Description:

    Though tourism now plays a recognized role in historical research and regional studies, the study of popular touristic images remains sidelined by chronological histories and objective statistics. Further, Arizona remains underexplored as an early twentieth-century tourism destination when compared with nearby California and New Mexico. With the notable exception of the Grand Canyon, little has been written about tourism in the early days of Arizona's statehood.Mapping Wonderlandsfills part of this gap in existing regional studies by looking at early popular pictorial maps of Arizona. These cartographic representations of the state utilize formal mapmaking conventions to create a place-based state history. They introduce illustrations, unique naming conventions, and written narratives to create carefully visualized landscapes that emphasize the touristic aspects of Arizona.Analyzing the visual culture of tourism in illuminating detail, this book documents how Arizona came to be identified as an appealing tourism destination. Providing a historically situated analysis, Dori Griffin draws on samples from a comprehensive collection of materials generated to promote tourism during Arizona's first half-century of statehood. She investigates the relationship between natural and constructed landscapes, visual culture, and narratives of place. Featuring sixty-six examples of these aesthetically appealing maps, the book details how such maps offered tourists and other users a cohesive and storied image of the state. Using historical documentation and rhetorical analysis, this book combines visual design and historical narrative to reveal how early-twentieth-century mapmakers and map users collaborated to imagine Arizona as a tourist's paradise.

    eISBN: 978-0-8165-9991-2
    Subjects: History
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Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Illustrations (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Acknowledgments (pp. ix-xii)
  5. Introduction (pp. 1-4)

    How can popular, illustrated maps offer contemporary viewers insights into the cultural history and physical landscape of Arizona? This book approaches that question from multiple viewpoints, offering readers a chance to explore the landscape and history of Arizona from a fresh and highly visual perspective. When contextualized in relationship to each other, the maps documented in this book reveal the ways in which Arizona was imagined and promoted during its first half-century of statehood.

    Chapter 1 introduces the ways in which cartographic illustration helped to construct a picture of the wonderlands of the American West during the twentieth century. It...

  6. ONE Writing the Wonderlands of Arizona (pp. 5-21)

    During the first half of the twentieth century, increasing numbers of American automotive tourists set out along the nation’s highways, traveling in order to engage the landscapes of their country and their history. Tourism in the West played an important role in the formation of a national American identity, and it helped individual tourists to define themselves in relationship to a nationalist culture.¹ Although numerous studies focus on the relationships between western tourism and American identity,visualrepresentation remains a neglected area of inquiry.Writtennarratives—fictional, commercial, biographical, autobiographical, ethnographic, anthropological, and historical—dominate the scholarship of the American...

  7. TWO Contextualizing Arizona’s Cartographic Illustrations, 1912–1962 (pp. 22-55)

    What is a cartographic illustration, and how can contemporary viewers understand the historical landscape more fully by learning to read the language of cartographic illustrations? The makers of cartographic illustrations have called their work by many names: cartographs, cartomaps, pic-tour maps, cartoon maps, picture maps, and illustrated maps, to name but a few. This book uses the termcartographic illustrationand the shorter, friendlier word “cartograph” to describe pictorial, narrative, not-to-scale maps intended for popular audiences. Unlike a road map with an illustration on its cover, a cartographic illustration works pictorial and narrative content into the fabric of the map...

  8. THREE Adopted Identities: Map-makers, Map Users, and Illustrated Roles (pp. 56-74)

    Both tourists and cartographic illustrators appear in cartographs of Arizona—the former much more frequently than the latter. Many cartographs depict tourists within the mapped spaces. For the vast majority of sightseeing maps, guidebook maps, and postcard maps, tourists are the intended user group. Cartographic illustrators often scatter tourists throughout the landscapes they depict. Activities run the gamut from riding, fishing, hunting, and hiking to skiing, sunbathing, and taking or posing for snapshots. In some instances, the map-maker addresses an invisible, assumed viewer. Secondary players signify the presence of the tourist, either directly or indirectly. Most frequently, Indians offer the...

  9. FOUR Rewriting Time: Illustrated Cartography and Arizona’s Temporal Landscape (pp. 75-101)

    Many cartographic illustrations of Arizona edit chronology. They rewrite the temporal landscape through a variety of technical mechanisms and toward a variety of conceptual ends. This chapter explores the varying ways in which Arizona cartographs treat time, overdetermining the state’s landscape as a historical (i.e., noncontemporary) space. Four main strategies emerge: (1) utilizing historicist visual styles; (2) compressing the historical narrative; (3) positing an ahistorical or timeless landscape; and (4) truncating the historical narrative by excluding contemporary events and landscape features. This chapter explores each of these four “editorial” strategies in turn.

    In some instances, cartographs flatten time by manipulating...

  10. FIVE Crowded Spaces: “How We Filled in the Map” (pp. 102-128)

    Unlike popular destinations in many other places, Arizona’s tourist wonderlands remained remote and difficult to reach well into the twentieth century. This chapter argues that cartographic illustrators faced particular challenges in depicting Arizona’s tourist landscapes favorably. Sparsely populated, largely rural, and easily perceived as “empty” to tourists accustomed to the greener landscapes of coastal and middle America, Arizona seemed to require cartographic embellishment. In response to this need, the state’s early cartographic illustrators developed a standardized vocabulary of routes and sites. Furthermore, they developed a schema for distributing these evenly throughout the terrain. Later map-makers, less invested in Arizona’s identity...

  11. SIX Cartographic Narratives of Place: Writing Stories onto Arizona Landscapes (pp. 129-147)

    Cartographic illustrations of Arizona created specific, well-defined, place-based imaginaries for potential and actual tourists. The “imaginary” of a place consists of the accrued layers of cultural meaning that mask, embellish, or explain its observable physical characteristics. Often narrative in form, the imaginary offers a conceptual synthesis, a holistic and reductive frame for the tourist experience. Like most imaginaries of place, Arizona’s developed over time and in relationship to one another. Broadly speaking, Arizona’s landscape imaginaries narrate the state as a lush garden, an alien desert, and a futuristic metropolis. As we shall see, the garden narrative proved especially captivating and...

  12. SEVEN Cartographic Narratives of Cultural Exoticism: Stories with Local Color (pp. 148-179)

    The previous chapter discussed cartographic narratives constructed aroundplace. This chapter shifts the focus from Arizona places to the “exotic” groups ofpeoplewho inhabited those places. Colonial Spaniards and Native Americans dominate Arizona’s narratives of the exotic Other. Numerous maps depict Arizona as either a Spanish colony awash in golden stucco, or a native habitat peopled by gentle savages. Some images depict both. As usual, early issues ofArizona Highwaysprovide succinct introductions to these interrelated themes. The narratives constructed around the Kino missions combine the motifs of Spanish colony and native habitat. San Xavier del Bac and Tumacacori...

  13. Conclusion: Rereading Arizona as a Wonderland (pp. 180-184)

    During Arizona’s first fifty years of statehood, from 1912 to 1962, cartographic illustrators imagined the state as a tourist’s wonderland. In so doing, they used a variety of visual and narrative strategies. Cartographic illustrators incorporated the formal image characteristics and cartographic conventions typical of their place and time. They developed and pictorialized a circumscribed set of roles for map-makers and map users. Their images rewrote historical time in order to position Arizona as an engaging and comprehensible tourism landscape. By crowding the physical landscape, they filled Arizona with reliable routes along which tourists could encounter a series of appealing and...

  14. Appendix: Popular Cartographers of Arizona, A Biographical Catalogue (pp. 185-194)
  15. Notes (pp. 195-212)
  16. Index (pp. 213-218)
  17. Back Matter (pp. 219-220)