Join Historic Arkansas Museum at 2nd Friday Art Night for the opening of “Acansa to Arkansas: Maps of the Land.” John Willis Music will be the evening’s musical guest. The Water Buffalo and Buffalo Brewing Company will be the featured brewery.
The reception is sponsored by the Historic Arkansas Museum Foundation, with special thanks to 107 Liquor. Beverages and appetizers will be served in the Stella Boyle Smith Atrium. The exhibits and reception are free and open to the public.
“Acansa to Arkansas: Maps of the Land”
2nd Floor Gallery
Based on the expedition routes of French and Spanish explorers, 18th century maps of the North American continent were vague and inaccurate, typically noting only significant rivers and mountain ranges. Early maps were often made with political and economic motives; in some instances, map makers took advantage of the unknown nature of newly acquired territories, manipulating boundaries to the advantage of their European sponsors.
Demand for American-made maps increased as the country’s boundaries expanded and dreams of westward migration took hold; map publication blossomed in the United States in the 1790s, and by 1820, the cartography hub of Philadelphia was home to around 150 engravers. Settlement of the new frontier required accurate maps, and gradually, map makers came to rely less on the hand-written notes of early explorers and depended more on the mathematical calculations of surveyors who used tools like a Gunter’s chain, compass, sextants, and theodolites to triangulate distances.
This exhibit chronicles changes in Arkansas’s place names, population demographics, and geography from the period just before La Harpe’s first explorations of the area in 1722 until early statehood.