Atlas Art: Title Pages and Frontispieces, 1493-1852


Sat, Jan 21, 2017 to
Sun, Apr 09, 2017

First come, first served.

Theatre du Monde frontispiece

This exhibition is open during Central Library's hours of operation.

From almost the very beginning of Gutenberg’s movable type, more than 600 years ago, atlases — books filled with maps — were printed with highly decorative title pages and frontispieces characterized by great allegorical invention and the exotica and mystery associated with distant lands. These beautiful pictorial devices were an intersection of cartography, art and commerce designed to entice the viewer to acquire the atlas while also encouraging viewers to appreciate both the mythological and physical qualities of the areas portrayed.

This exhibition celebrates this often overlooked art form over a more than 500 year period, and is drawn from the rich private collection of longtime map collector and dealer Page Stockwell, along with materials from the John Wilson Special Collections of Multnomah County Library.

Join us for the Atlas Art: Title Pages and Frontispieces Illustrated Talk on Wed., Feb. 15, 2017 from 6:00 to 7:30 PM. Light refreshments will be served.


Made possible by gifts to The Library Foundation, a local nonprofit dedicated to our library’s leadership, innovation and reach through private support.

For more information, contact Jim Carmin at 503.988.6287 or

Target audience:

Adults, 50+

Event type: