(Roughly) Daily

Let me tell you a tale…

 

This map, by social realist artist William Gropper, was created to showcase the diversity of national myths and folk stories and was distributed abroad through the U.S. Department of State starting in 1946…

Gropper, born in New York City’s Lower East Side to a working-class family, deeply identified with labor movements and the Left throughout his life. He worked as a cartoonist for mainstream publications New York Tribune and Vanity Fair, as well as the leftist and radical newspapers Rebel Worker, New Masses, and Daily Worker. During the Depression, like many other out-of-work artists, Gropper designed murals for the Works Progress Administration.

The “folklore” on display in this richly illustrated map is a soup of history, music, myth, and literature. Frankie and Johnny are cheek-by-jowl with a wild-eyed John Brown; General Custer coexists with “Git Along Little Dogies.” Utah is simply host to a group of “Mormons,” in which a bearded man holds up stigmata-marked hands to a small group of wives and children, while a figure labeled “New England Witches” flies over New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont…

Click here (and again) to see the map in much larger format (or find it at the Library of Congress); read the full story at Vault.

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As we revel in regional differences, we might recall that it was on this date in 1938 that Theodor Geisel– Dr. Seuss– published The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins.  Geisel had published And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street the prior year; 500 Hats was his second children’s book and the first of three (it was followed by The King’s Stilts and The Seven Lady Godivas in 1939), all of which were, atypically for him, in prose.  He returned to the rhyming form for which he’s known with his fifth book, Horton Hatches the Egg.

 source

 

Written by LW

September 1, 2013 at 1:01 am

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