Art Museum to host ancient map expert for talk

Andreas Cellarius’ “Ptolemaic World System,” on loan from the Joel Oppenheimer Gallery.

Andreas Cellarius’ “Ptolemaic World System,” on loan from the Joel Oppenheimer Gallery.

The Northern Illinois University Art Museum and NIU Museum Studies students enrolled in ART 656 will host an informative talk by Gerald “Jerry” Brauer, a local expert on ancient maps.

Brauer will present “Art a la carte: Decorative Imagery in Maps, 1500-1800” from 7:15 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 18 in Altgeld Hall 315.

This free public lecture is offered in conjunction with the exhibition, “MAPPING: Measuring Across Place and Period; Information, Navigation and Geography,” on display in the Museum’s South Galleries through Friday, May 24.

His talk will focus on the evolution of decoration on antique maps from 1500 to the late 1800s, and how this decoration often enhances the presentation and impact of the geographic content. He also will discuss the direct connection between what is decoratively displayed on the map and what location the map depicts.

A “collector/enthusiast” of ancient maps for more than 35 years, Brauer graciously loaned a number of items from his extensive personal collection for display in the exhibition at the mseum.

Logo of the NIU Art MuseumBrauer first came to DeKalb in 1982 after answering an ad placed by the Ellwood House Association, then looking to hire its first full-time museum director. Before that, he had been an assistant curator at the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Mich. He also had taught courses in architectural history and the history of furniture at Henry Ford Community College.

During his 28 years serving as director of the Ellwood House Museum, he was instrumental in preserving the museum’s historical furnishings and integrity while still keeping up with modern maintenance, such as roof repair and indoor plumbing. He also oversaw the construction of the visitor and education center in 1997, where he and his staff were able to put on more than a dozen historical and fine arts exhibitions before he retired as director in 2010.

Call (815) 753-1936 for more information.

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