Map of North and South America

William Blaeu's decorative map, made about 1648, includes oval vignettes of Latin American cities and harbors along the top border. Paired examples of different native peoples line either side, including the King and Queen of Florida shown in the detail. The map represents contemporary geographical understanding of the New World, together with sea monsters and other imaginative features.
Many maps of the Americas were produced during the period of exploration and colonial settlement in the 17th century. The period between 1630 and 1700 is known as the golden age of Dutch cartography, as the Netherlands was a center for map publishing as well as for the country's maritime enterprise that depended on maps and charts.
The Museum's map collection includes a number of important examples received as a gift from Mabel Brady Garvan, who, with her husband Francis P. Garvan, built an important collection of American paintings, furniture, and decorative arts that is now at the Yale University Art Gallery.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
Date made
ca 1648
graphic artist
Blaeu, William
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
overall: 16 1/8 in x 21 7/8 in; 40.9575 cm x 55.5625 cm
Place Made
North America
South America
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Measuring & Mapping
Exploration and Discovery
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Graphic Arts
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Francis P. Garvan
Additional Media

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