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art, geography and

  A relationship with art is implicit in the meaning of \'geography\' — earth description (graphos) — although this begs the question of art as practical skill and art as imaginative creation. Claudius Ptolemy, whose first-century text The Geography so influenced early modern geographical thinking, distinguished \'geography\' from \'chorography\' — the former a mathematical science, the latter, which incorporated regional description, more closely related to art in its embrace of pictorial representation and imaginative appeal. Ptolemy\'s claim that chorography required the skills of the painter provided theoretical grounds for chorographies in early modern Europe, which combined written topographical and historical description with graphic images of landscape (Cosgrove, 1999). Written chorography is a source for literary celebration of regional character, for example in poetry and novels, while chorographic art developed into both topographical mapping and landscape painting. At the regional and local level, therefore, geography has always been closely connected to artistic representation. While the closest links remain with graphic arts, contemporary geographers are exploring other arts, including literature, music and dance (see performance).

As a cultural expression of modernity, geography since the fifteenth century has shared the epistemological fixation with optics and accurate graphic representation on which western art and science have converged (Kemp, 1990). During the period of European oceanic exploration and nation-building, geographical knowledge was closely dependent upon graphic skills: visual survey and recording through sketching and draughting; eighteenth-century military topographers and surveyors such as Paul Sandby were also artists of merit (Smith, 1985; Stafford, 1984). Landscape gardening and architecture offer another field of contact between geographical science and design in which aesthetics is prominent. Nineteenth-century critics and designers such as John Ruskin in Britain, Violet-le-Duc in France, Andrew Jackson Downing and Frederick Olmstead in the USA studied landscape as a moral and aesthetic expression of socio-environmental relations, sharing the foundational problem of disciplinary geography at that time (Cosgrove, 1998 [1984], pp. 241-53). For their part, the German scientists Alexander von Humboldt and Friedrich Ratzel, important architects of the modern geographical discipline, regarded landscape aesthetics as a central intellectual concern. As Humboldt\'s study of landscape art in Kosmos (1849) indicates, the Romantic imagination was fundamentally geographical, transferring aesthetic sublimity from God to the physical world: to mountains, oceans, and wild places (cf. wilderness), although geography\'s Romantic inheritance has only recently been subjected to critical reflection, with studies of landscape painting, literature and music in the construction and expression of nineteenth-century Romantic nationalism and territorialities (Daniels, 1993). In the early twentieth century, artists maintained close association with many aspects of geographical enquiry, education and representation. In Germany an \'aesthetic geography\' was promoted by Ewald Banse, in the USA Carl Sauer (1925) acknowledged an aesthetic dimension — \'beyond science\' — to his landscape studies, while in Britain, the Geographical Magazine carried an inter-war series on British landscape painting. The chorographic connection between map and painting was revived in popular editions of national topographic surveys catering for the boom in outdoor leisure activity. In Italy the publications of the Touring Club Italiano exploited art photography to promote tourism and popular geographical appreciation of the strategic Alpine borderlands, while in Britain the illustrator Martin Ellis designed iconic images of English landscape for popular Ordnance Survey map sheets (cf. cartography; cartography, history of). The widely influential Regional Survey movement of the interwar years emphasized observation and sketching in geographical education for citizenship, graphic techniques closely associated with landscape art (Matless, 1991). Training in such skills, as in the aesthetic appreciation of cartographic images, remained part of geographical education into the 1960s. Post-war redefinition of geography as a spatial science based on positivism weakened disciplinary links to the humanities generally and to art in particular, despite occasional pleas for the study of imaginative geographies in literature and painting and such contributions as the Italian Emilio Sereni\'s 1960s use of painting as the principal source for his historical geography of landscape, establishing a tradition represented in Greppi\'s recent studies of Tuscany (Greppi, 1990, 1991, 1993). Connecting this approach to a broader humanist critique of spatial science, Cosgrove (1998 [1984]) used painting as a medium through which cultural geography could trace the interconnections of landscape change and modernity in the West. Others have reconsidered the artistic expression of local and regional consciousness, for example \'Common Ground\' parish maps in Britain or minority cultures in the United States such as the Hispanic tradition of mural art. Theoretical study of relations between art and geography has led to consideration of the virtual spaces of painting itself, for studies of linear perspective, and of relations between representational and actual spaces. Critique of vision and representational strategies developed within recent art history, film and media studies, especially from feminist perspectives, has been pursued also within geography. The implications of the gaze as a distanciated mode of establishing authority over space and its occupants have been systematically examined and criticized (Deutsche, 1991; Rose, 1993). Modernist attempts by various twentieth-century art movements to collapse the boundaries between art and everyday life, especially French situationist interest in subversive forms of \'mapping\' the streets and spaces of the modern metropolis, offer an obvious theme for geographical investigation (Pinder, 1996).

The radical claims of contemporary art and the attachment of many artists to ideals of community art and involvement have also attracted the interest of geographers. While occasional geographers, such as S. Quoniam (1988), have been practising artists, more have begun to work closely with professional artists in mounting exhibitions and writing catalogue essays or commentaries (Prendergast, 1997; Nash, 1998; Matless and Revill, 1995). From a different political standpoint, both commercial enterprises and public authorities have placed increasing emphasis on public art in the form of landscaping, commissioned murals and sculpture, and have recognized the significance of visual images in advertising, promotion and place selling. These strategies and the resulting artistic images have been the subject of critical geographical investigation of postmodernism. David Harvey\'s (1989) analysis of postmodernity opened a lively debate within geography and beyond on the increasing significance of style and decoration in contemporary architectural and urban discourse.

The iconography of individual art works has been examined geographically in order to pursue themes of place making and negotiating spatial meanings and Identities. Initially such interpretations tended to focus on architecture and painted images, but there has been a marked concentration more recently on monuments and memorials in studies of the role of art in constructing and identifying spaces and spatialities within the public realm. Geographers studying the visual arts are also giving increased attention to photography, cinema and advertising, previously neglected in favour of a concentration on fine art oil and watercolour images. The place of visual representations, past and present, from maps to computer images, in the construction of geographical knowledge is a subject of critical concern to many geographers today while the dissolution of disciplinary boundaries has encouraged increased dialogue between practising artists and geographers over matters of spatial experience, mapping and imaging.

Current focus on geography and art reflects the broader \'cultural turn\' within geography (see cultural geography) and its emphasis on the critical examination of representation and representational strategies for understanding geographical space and spatialities. At the same time, the enormously expanded significance both of the arts and arts-related industries within the post-industrial economy and of graphic images in a media society provide ample external justification for increased research attention to geography and art. (DEC)

References Cosgrove, D. 1998 [1984]: Social formation and symbolic landscape, 2nd edn. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin University Press. Cosgrove, D., ed., 1999: Mappings. London: Reaktion Books. Daniels, S. 1993: Fields of vision: landscape imagery and national identity in England and the United States. Cambridge: Polity Press. Deutsche, R. 1991: Boys Town. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 9: 5-30. Greppi, C., ed., 1990, 1991, 1993: Paesaggi dell\'Appennino toscano; Paesaggi delle colline toscane; Paesaggi della costa toscana. Venezia: Marsilio. Harvey, D. 1989: The condition of postmodernity: an enquiry into the origins of cultural change. Oxford: Blackwell. Humboldt, A. von 1849: Kosmos: a sketch of a physical description of the universe, vol. 2, trans. E.C. Otte. London: Henry G. Bolin. Kemp, M. 1990: The science of art: optical themes in western art from Brunelleschi to Seurat. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. Matless, D. 1991: Nature, the modern and the mystic: tales from early twentieth-century geography. Transactions, Institute of British Geographers 16: 272-86. Matless, D. and Revill, G. 1995: A solo ecology: the erratic art of Andy Goldsworthy. Ecumene 2: 432-48. Nash, C. 1998: Mapping emotion. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 16: 1-9. Pinder, D. 1996: Subverting cartography: the situationists and maps of the city. Environment and Planning A: Society and Space 28: 405-27. Prendergast, K. 1997: Lost. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 15: 663-80. Quoniam, S. 1988: A painter, geographer of Arizona. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 6: 3-14. Rose, G. 1993: Feminism and geography: the limits of geographical knowledge. Cambridge: Polity Press. Sauer, C.O. 1925: The morphology of landscape. University of California Publications in Geography 2: 19-54. Smith, B. 1985: European vision and the South Pacific, 2nd edn. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. Stafford, B. 1984: Voyage into substance: art, science, nature and the illustrated travel account, 1760-1840. Cambridge, MA and London: MIT Press; von Humboldt, A. 1848-58: Kosmos: a sketch of a physical description of the universe, 5 vols. London: Henry G. Bohn.

Suggested Reading Cosgrove (1998). Harvey (1989). Nash (1998). Ryan, J. 1997: Picturing Empire: photography and the visualization of the British Empire. London: Reaktion Books. Pinder (1996).



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