Maps are the current topic in the History Gallery of the Reboli Center for Art and History in Stony Brook. The maps on view come from the Special Collections and University Archives at the Frank Melville Library at Stony Brook University and were curated by the Director Kristen Nyitray. The map exhibit runs concurrently with the exhibit On the Road, a selection of paintings by Joseph Reboli, Kelynn Z Alder, Cynthia Crowell Doom, and Pam duLong Williams. On the Road celebrates travel and the new vistas and people seen on these ventures.
The map selections have a broad historical range. A hand colored map depicts New England and the Middle Atlantic states from Penobscot Bay south to the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. It appeared in Willem and Joan Blaeu’s Theatrum orbis terrarum, sive Atlas Novus, 1640 and other editions. The map of New Netherland and New England derives from Adriaen Block’s 1614 hand-drawn chart. The chart defined Manhattan and Long Island as islands after Block’s explorations of Long Island Sound and coastal waters up to Cape Cod and it served as the cornerstone for Dutch claims to the lower Northeast. It is decorated with deer, foxes, bears, egrets, rabbits, cranes, turkeys, beavers, polecats and otters, suggesting to fur traders the economic potential of region. Another map is a map of Suffolk County from an Atlas of the State of New York published in 1829 which was the second atlas ever created for a state. An 1899 map issued by the Long Island Railroad Co. shows roads, paths, runs, and hotels for cyclists who wished to travel Long Island and “lay out a trip intelligently.” Such maps were produced to promote tourism as well as to encourage people to relocate to Long Island. A 1978 map is a comically detailed rendering of the Stony Brook University campus that took graphic artist Larry Auerbach almost a year to complete. It was commissioned to help orient students to the campus. It is complex and entertaining.