World Wonders. A Pictorial Map
Chase, Ernest Dudley
Date of Creation:
Chase’s Wonders of the World, include: engineering, architectural and artistic achievements of mankind through the ages, as well as marvels of nature; the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Mayan temples, Egyptian Sphinx, Great Wall of China, Kremlin, Stonehenge, Hindenburg; and the Mona Lisa. Representing natural marvels are mountains and national parks such as Yellowstone, as well as animals such as the kangaroo, rhinoceros, buffalo and grizzly bear. Numerous inset illustrations with brief descriptions surround the map, including the “Seven Wonders” of the ancient world. The map is executed on Mercator’s projection with a decorative cartouche. It is printed in sepia tones highlighted with a colorful compass rose in red, yellow and orange, the border with ornate Art Deco corners.
“Riding the wave of public interest, Chase began a side business turning out pictorial maps of Europe and North America. By the mid-1940s, he had designed enough maps to fill his own mail-order catalog, The Ernest Dudley Chase Decorative Pictorial Novelty Maps. A promotional flyer claimed that he was “the leading creator and publisher of pictorial or illustrated maps in this country, if not, indeed, the world. Chase crafted his maps with care, each taking from six months to a year to complete. He worked with a magnifying glass, inking in, dot by dot, the tiny scenes that covered many of his maps. These stamp-size scenes were based on his own sketches, still and motion picture collection (he reputedly shot an estimated one hundred thousand feet of cine-film), postcards, and other illustrative material. Much of this visual material came from his extensive travels in the Americas, Europe and Asia” (Hornsby).
Ernest Dudley Chase was born in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1878 “but is most associated with the town of Winchester, Massachusetts where he was a well-known artist. Chase created a unique body of work, an array of views of various Winchester homes and buildings and whimsically illustrated maps. After attending the Lowell Textile School and the Vesper George Art School in Boston, Chase joined the Butterfield Printing Company in 1900. In 1906, he joined the printing firm of W.T. Sheehan in Boston. He began his own greeting card company in 1908, Des Arts Publishers which eventually became Ernest Dudley Chase Publishers. In 1921, Chase Publishers was purchased by Rust Craft. Chase worked at Rust Craft until 1958 in the position of vice president of creative design. His other duties at Rust Craft included advertising manager and editing the company's newsletter The Rustler and the greeting card industry periodical The Greeting Card… One of Chase's hobbies was creating enormous greeting cards, gathering thousands of signatures on them and sending them to United States presidents or other famous persons around the world. Chase also enjoyed traveling and documenting his travel experiences in diaries.
“According to the book Winchester Artists by Ellen E. Knight, Chase produced more greeting cards than anyone in the United States. He authored the first definitive history of the greeting card business, The Romance of Greeting Cards, which was published in 1926. Chase retired from Rust Craft in 1958 and died in 1966” (Smithsonian online).