Map of North and South America

Map of North and South America

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
Frederick de Wit's decorative map, made about 1650, includes oval vignettes of Latin American cities along the top border. Single figures of different native peoples line either side, including a Virginiani chief and brave, as shown in the detail. Some figures have been crudely colored to cover their nakedness. The map represents a flawed understanding of New World geography, such as picturing California as an island.
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 1650
De Wit, F.
place made
Netherlands: North Holland, Amsterdam
United States: California
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
overall: 17 3/16 in x 21 7/8 in; 43.65625 cm x 55.5625 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Francis P. Garvan
Exploration and Discovery
See more items in
Work and Industry: Graphic Arts
Measuring & Mapping
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object