These events will be streamed live on the Leventhal Center’s Facebook page and YouTube channel, then archived on YouTube. Please Register (bottom of screen on mobile devices, to the right on desktop computers) to receive a link sent to your email, or follow the links provided here.
The many ways that maps and visual data have been used for centuries to manipulate information and truth come under scrutiny in BENDING LINES: Maps and Data from Distortion to Deception, a new initiative of the Norman B. Leventhal Map and Education Center at the Boston Public Library that opens with an immersive, "digital first" exhibition on May 27.
Viewers are invited to explore the online show and join in to Angles on Bending Lines: Curator Conversations, a series of interactive events hosted by Leventhal Center’s Curator of Maps and Director of Geographic Scholarship Garrett Dash Nelson, and featuring guests who give context to the exhibition's themes and content.
The final talk in this series will air on Wednesday, June 17 at 1 pm with “What You See Is What You Get - Or Is It?” Curator Garrett Dash Nelson leads a lively discussion with map collector and researcher PJ Mode, whose love for old and unusual maps of the world led to a fascination with unconventional maps whose purpose is not fact-based, but more persuasive.
PJ Mode grew up in Indiana and graduated from Cornell University with a concentration in what would today be called computer science. He then spent three years on active duty as a naval officer, then attended the Harvard Law School. Mode worked for the Washington law firm then called Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (now Wilmer Hale), where he spent most of the next 35 years followed by a position as Special Counsel to Citigroup for another decade.
A student and collector of old maps since 1980, he now focuses on researching and collecting “persuasive cartography,” maps intended primarily to influence opinions or beliefs – to send a message – rather than to communicate geographic information. His collection lives at Cornell University, and Mode’s website at persuasivemaps.library.cornell.edu describes the subject and the collection, with links to high-resolution images and detailed notes on over 800 maps.
Garrett Dash Nelson is the Curator of Maps & Director of Geographic Scholarship at the Leventhal Map & Education Center.