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“Bird's Eye View of Collingwood, Ontario, Canada” print by Herman Brosius (1875)

“Bird's Eye View of Collingwood, Ontario, Canada” print by Herman Brosius (1875)

Regular price $60.00 CAD
Regular price Sale price $60.00 CAD
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This Collingwood bird’s eye view by Herman Brosius is an excellent reminder that maps always have hidden motivations. This kind of image functioned as a flattering civic portrait. Slums were omitted, parks exaggerated, and industry embellished. Every possible feature was included, provided that it appealed to the middle and upper-class citizens who bought these prints for their offices, businesses, and parlours. And sometimes, those paying customers had exceptional sway over what was drawn. 

Of the sixty-some bird’s eye views Brosius has to his credit, the Grand Central Hotel at top right of this image is the largest inset I’ve seen, by far. His 1876 map of Ottawa, for example, shows even the Canadian Parliament building at a much smaller scale. Why? That hotel’s owner (”Chas. Wiggins”) was likely a major financial backer, paying for placement in an unstated act of advertising. It’s like Instagram before “paid placement” labels were mandatory, and Chas. must’ve had quite the budget.  

A reproduction available at 16x12" or 24x18" on Epson Enhanced Matte 192 gsm paper printed with Epson UltraChrome XD2 archival ink. Sold in an open edition, unframed. Restored from this pubic domain image found in the Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center.

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