October 14, 2010
Contact: Katrina Greene
Andrew W. Mellon Post-Baccalaureate Curatorial Fellow

AMHERST, Mass.—On Sunday, Dec. 5, at 4 p.m., Bob Abramms, founder of Amherst-based map publishing company ODT, Inc., will give a presentation about the history and politics of maps in the Mead Art Museum’s William Green Study Room. Abramms collaborated with the museum’s staff to develop a custom-designed world map for “A Global View,” a new installation of cultural artifacts organized as a part of the Mead’s whole-museum reinstallation project.

After reviewing numerous options, museum curators selected “The World Turned Upside Down,” a map which places the southern hemisphere at the top and shows the relative size of continents. The map is fully described as a Hobo-Dyer Projection, South-Up, and was commissioned and published by ODT and designed and Oxford Cartographers (UK). Mead staff members worked with Abramms and designers at Oxford Cartographers to modify an innovative classroom teaching tool into a striking seven-foot wide image suitable for an art museum.

“This handsome and informative map challenges visitors’ preconceptions about something as seemingly straightforward as the geography of the world,” said Elizabeth Barker, the museum’s director and chief curator. “In that way, it furthers the Mead’s educational mission.”

During his presentation, Abramms will describe the production of the Mead map and will incorporate ODT’s thought-provoking DVD, Many Ways to See the World. This talk is free and open to the public.

ODT, Inc. is a map publisher specializing in world map images that teach people to see the world from a broader, more inclusive perspective. Their maps, books, and DVDs are used in Media Literacy programs, as well as Social Studies and Geography programs worldwide. They publish the “What's Up? South!” world map, the Hobo-Dyer world map, the Population map, as well as books (Seeing Through Maps) and DVDs (Many Ways to See the World). The company has received international attention for designing and publishing the Hobo-Dyer world map (2002) and was referenced by popular television show The West Wing. The office of ODT Inc. is located in Amherst, MA. For more information, please visit the company’s web site, http://odtmaps.com.

A complete schedule of the museum’s fall events is posted on the Mead’s Web site: www.amherst.edu/museums/mead/schedule. The Mead Art Museum houses the art collection of Amherst College, totaling more than 17,000 works. An accredited member of the American Association of Museums, the Mead participates in Museums10, a regional cultural collaboration. During the academic term, the museum is open Tuesdays through Thursdays and on Sundays from 9 a.m. to midnight and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, please visit the museum’s web site, www.amherst.edu/museums/mead, or call 413/542-2335.