Compass: Folk Art in Four Directions
  • previous image next image enlarge image back
  • Artist unidentified
  • Probably New England
  • 1835
  • Watercolor, ink, and pencil on paper
  • 26 x 34 3/4 in.
  • American Folk Art Museum, gift of Ralph Esmerian, 2013.1.41

    In the Litchfield Academy, the study of geography and history was considered important in expanding the minds of their charges, improving their memories and giving them a wider perspective on the world. Geography was integrated into the ornamental arts, where students drew maps in ink and shaded the boundaries with watercolor in a manner similar to this example. This unusual Map of the Animal Kingdom shows animals and some peoples native to regions around the globe. It closely follows a pictorial atlas map published by W.C. Woodbridge of Connecticut in 1831 that was intended for use in the classroom. The map is framed with delicate theorem painting of roses with thorny stems and leaves, a technique that relied upon the use of hollowcut stencils to create the modular forms.
  • Courtesy Sotheby‚Äôs, New York