Bird's Eye Views Historic Lithographs of North American Cities
Author: John W. Reps
Publisher/Date: Princeton Architectural Press (c. 1998) 1st Edition
Format/Condition: New large format hardcover book with dust jacket in Near Fine condition: light shelfwear, barely noticeable. 116 pages. Dimensions: 15 x 12.8 x 0.8 inches Illustrated with 115 lithographs, mostly all in color.
Description: As new towns and cities spread across the American frontier in the nineteenth century, itinerant artists soon followed, documenting these growing urban centers by drawing aerial perspectives, also known as bird's eye views. Commissioned by land speculators, local businesses, civic organizations, and individual citizens, these renderings fostered both civic pride and local commerce. The use of color lithography, a recent invention popularized by such prominent publishers as Currier & Ives, allowed the inexpensive reproduction of the highest-quality drawings, so that a bird's eye view was within the financial budget of even the smallest towns. These extraordinarily detailed lithographs eventually numbered in the thousands and now serve as a rich pictorial record of North America as it stood a century ago.
This sequel to the highly acclaimed title "An Atlas of Rare City Maps" collects over 100 views dating between 1835 and 1902, showing the streets, churches, general stores, stables, theaters, courthouses, banks, hospitals, schools, factories, buildings, railroad depots, large parks, bridges, waterways, and surrounding countryside of North American towns, ranging from burgeoning metropolitan centers to small logging towns and mining camps. Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Brooklyn, Cincinnati, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Madison, Memphis, Montreal, New Orleans, New York, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Raleigh, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Syracuse, and Washington are just a few of the cities presented in this collection. Some of the smaller cities included are Annapolis, Maryland; Austin, Texas; Bismarck, North Dakota; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Davenport, Iowa; Hannibal, Missouri; Lexington, Kentucky; Newport, Rhode Island, Newark, New Jersey; Ocean Grove/Asbury Park, New Jersey; and Phoenix in the Arizona Territory.
The exquisite color and fine detail of these bird's eye views have been reproduced in all their original glory; also included is an introduction by John W. Reps providing a background on the artistic process and on urban development in the nineteenth century.
Urban Viewmaking: Artists and Publishers of the American Scene
North American Cities: The Transformation of Urban Communities in the Nineteenth Century
The ViewsMetropolitan Change and Exapansion: Cities of the East
Reconstruction and Rebuilding: Cities of the South
Urbanizing Middle America: Cities of the Midwest
Settling the Last Frontier: Cities of the West, Plains, and Rockies