Exhibitions

America Transformed: Mapping the 19th Century

Part I: May 4 – November 3, 2019
Part II: November 12, 2019 – May 10, 2020

During the 19th century, the United States expanded dramatically westward. Immigrant settlers rapidly spread across the continent and transformed it, often through violent or deceptive means, from ancestral Native lands and borderlands teeming with diverse communities to landscapes that fueled the rise of industrialized cities. Historical maps, images and related objects tell the story of the sweeping changes made to the physical, cultural, and political landscape. Moving beyond the mythologized American frontier, this map exhibition explores the complexity of factors that shaped our country over the century.

The United States Expands Westward, the first part of the exhibition, on display until November 2019, begins at the end of the 18th century, when Euro-American settlers were exploring, surveying and rapidly taking over lands west of the Appalachians that were inhabited by Native peoples, as well as the French and Spanish. The newcomers developed canals, roads, and railroads, in many places appropriating Native trails, and created an integrated transportation network. Exploiting land and mineral resources, they initiated a capitalist economy based on agriculture, mining, and industry. This part of the story concludes with three significant events in the early 1860s that had major impact on the transformation of the nation’s physical and cultural landscape: the Civil War, the passing of the Homestead Act, and the authorization of the first transcontinental railroad.

Mass

Visit the exhibition in the Map Center GallerySee the online exhibition

Who We Are: Boston Immigration Then and Now

On display at the Consulate General of Brazil in Boston from May 22 to July 31, 2019

Recent immigration has given Boston a new richness of ethnic, language and cultural diversity, with more countries than ever before represented among us. Boston’s foreign-born population, hailing from more than 130 countries, now accounts for 28% of the city’s total population, and the neighborhoods that make up Boston often tell unique stories of diversity and change.

This exhibition compares the landscape of today’s “new” Boston with that of over 100 years ago. The maps and graphics on display here show where Boston’s foreign-born residents originate from, and where newer immigrant groups have settled, while celebrating who we are, and the vibrant diversity that is Boston.

This is a traveling exhibition, on display at the Consulate General of Brazil in Boston from May 22 to July 31, 2019. Check the calendar for other locations.

See the online exhibition

America Transformed: Mapping the 19th Century
Part I: May 4 – November 10, 2019
Part II: November 23, 2019 – May 10, 2020

During the 19th century, the United States expanded dramatically westward. Immigrant settlers rapidly spread across the continent and transformed it, often through violent or deceptive means, from ancestral Native lands and borderlands teeming with diverse communities to landscapes that fueled the rise of industrialized cities. Historical maps, images and related objects tell the story of the sweeping changes made to the physical, cultural, and political landscape. Moving beyond the mythologized American frontier, this map exhibition explores the complexity of factors that shaped our country over the century.

Part II: Homesteads to Modern Cities, 1862-1900, opens in November 2019.

Mass

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