SALT LAKE CITY — A new exhibit at the state Capitol shows how mapmakers, tradesman, explorers and others perceived the land that became Utah. The display of 40 rare maps depicts the region from its earliest imaginings by European mapmakers to the modern state boundaries.
An opening reception for “Utah Drawn: An Exhibition of Rare Maps” will be held in the Capitol’s fourth floor gallery from 9 a.m. to noon on Friday. Additional maps from various institutions and private collectors will be offered as a show-and-tell event in the rotunda between noon and 2 p.m. on Friday. “Utah Drawn” will be offered through late summer 2017 by the Utah State Historical Society.
For over 500 years, explorers and printers worked first to trace the outline of the North American continent that was new to Europeans and then to eventually fill in its vast American interior. The earliest maps, for example, depict the Americas as an obstacle to trade with Asia.
A special exhibit section focuses on the grand comprehensive Utah plan — what was then called the "Great Salt Lake City" — envisioned on the western front of the Rocky Mountains.
The original maps are from the private collection of Stephen Boulay, with additional maps from the Utah State Historical Society, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, BYU and the University of Utah.