Charting the Peaceful Sea – Reed Gallery Exhibition at City Library

June 4, 2008 at 9:41 am | Posted in City Library, Events, Exhibition, Free Event, Heritage, New Zealand, Reed Gallery | Leave a comment

The latest Reed Gallery exhibition, Charting the Peaceful Sea: Maps of the Pacific, 1642-1846, highlights some of the Heritage Collections’ holdings documenting European exploration of the Pacific region from the Bering Strait in the north to the Antarctic coast in the south.

This exhibition focuses on the expansion in Pacific exploration by Holland, France, England and later the United States, that occurred from the seventeenth to the mid-nineteenth century.

The first map to show any portion of New Zealand was drawn by Able Tasman in 1642, a facsimile of which, from a nineteenth-century edition of Tasman’s journals, is shown in the exhibition.

The earliest British map on display is from the account of Sir John Narborough’s voyage to the Pacific in 1670-71, written by Tancred Robinson and published in 1694.

John Harris’s Navigantium atque Itinerantium Bibliotheca…(1744) exhibits a map of the world drawn by London cartographer Emanuel Bowen. This map includes the circumnavigations of Ferdinand Magellan, Sir Francis Drake and George Anson, and applies the name ‘New Zeeland’ to label the land discovered by Tasman in 1642.

By far the most well-known and accomplished of the eighteenth-century explorers was Captain James Cook, who made three separate voyages to the Pacific in 1768-71, 1772-75 and 1776-79. First and early editions of Cook’s charts and maps form the core of this exhibition.

The exhibition concludes with the mid-nineteenth-century Antarctic explorations of the United States and Great Britain. On exhibit is a colour map produced by the U.S. Exploring Expedition from the early 1840s.

For a quick overview of the exhibit be sure to watch our YouTube clip on the subject.

  • Charting the Peaceful Sea: Maps of the Pacific, 1642-1846,
  • Until 31st August 2008
  • Reed Gallery
  • Floor 3
  • City Library
  • Free Event
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