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Star map

by Elizabeth Shurtleff
The sky

Art Deco double-hemisphere celestial chart filled with decorative illustrations of the constellations as classical mythological figures. Boldly colored, mainly bright red and blue against a dark blue ground.

The two hemispheres show the skies as of January 1st and July 1st respectively. The cartouche instructs the user of the chart to "face south, and raise map over head, to place constellations." A key displays symbols representing sizes of the stars depicted. Inset illustrations of Phoebus Apollo, the Sun God, and Diana, the Moon Goddess, are set between the two hemispheres. Personifications of the wind blow from each spandrel at the four corners. A cherub sits on each side of the cartouche, one reading the poem "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."

Each sign of the zodiac is illustrated and the borders surrounding each hemisphere name them as follows: "The RAM, the BULL, the HEAVENLY TWINS, And next the CRAB the LION shines, The VIRGIN, and the SCALES, The SCORPION, ARCHER, and SEA-GOAT, The MAN that holds the WATERING-POT, And FISH with glittering tails." The zodiac and other constellations are further described in text in the upper and lower margins.


Elizabeth Shurtleff was a painter based in Boston, Massachusetts. She was born in New Hampshire and studied at the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts. She designed other color posters in the 1920s, including a pictorial map of New Hampshire, and completed at least one mural commission for the Raymond-Whitcomb in Boston, then America's leading tour company.

Last Updated:
21th of June, 2023

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