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Friday, December 19, 2014

Gifts of Maps to the University of Tennessee - The Director's Comments

From: Henri D Grissino-Mayer
Date: Dec 18, 2014 
To: Graham Arader
Cc: Jefferson Chapman

Hello Graham,

Yesterday, I sprinted (as fast as a 60-year old can) to the McClung Museum where Jeff and his staff are busy getting the maps catalogued. The maps are unpacked and laid out upright in an aisle (stretching far down that aisle), resting on protective blocks to keep them off the floor. I was much like the proverbial kid in a candy store, dropping to my knees and getting my face as close as possible to see the details of each map, examine the incredible original hand coloring, and appreciate more the beautiful black and gold Hogarth frames and matting. I then took digital photos of each and these were sent to our geography faculty once back in my office, along with the 6-page descriptions of all maps you provided once I scanned these into a PDF. Jeff and the museum will send me better digital pictures later to share with them. I went back to the aisle several times and carefully studied the geography of the maps -- I'm particularly intrigued by the William De Brahm maps of coastal South Carolina and part of Georgia (1780) because these maps show Hunting Island in coastal South Carolina where my family vacations every June! I thoroughly dirtied my knees but I didn't care.

I'm looking forward to working with Jeff and the museum in getting these maps on display in our building as soon as possible, as early as late January! We will concentrate on the 3rd floor first, which gets the most foot traffic from students, faculty, and visitors, but now we'll have something to actually captivate them! I am also working with some of the faculty, especially Will Fontanez and the Cartography Lab, to create mapping exercises for their particular courses that will use the maps on display and introduce students to the educational and historical value of these maps.

One more thing: I would like to work with Jeff on producing additional signage that will go with each map that says something like “Gift of Jeff Leving and Arader Galleries, 2014,” but would welcome any suggestions on what to say here.

Thank you, Graham! And I wish you and your family a festive and restful holiday season!

Dr. Henri D. Grissino-Mayer
Professor of Geography
Associate Department Head
Department of Geography
The University of Tennessee-Knoxville
Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-0925

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