Humbead’s Revised Map of the World

The second, revised edition of an iconic counter-culture ‘map’ of the world.

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Eschewing traditional geographic standards of latitude, longitude, and projection; this image captures an alternative worldview that is emblematic of the counter-culture revolution of the 1960’s. From an excellent analysis by cultural historian Michael J. Kramer;

“Humbead’s Revised Map of the World reimagines the globe from the perspective of the West Coast folk scene and emerging hippie counterculture. First printed in 1968, with subsequent iterations produced in 1969 and 1970, it was created by Rick Shubb and Earl Crabb, two Bay Area folk music aficionados. Like Saul Steinberg’s famous New Yorker magazine cover View of the World from 9th Avenue, published in 1976, Humbead’s is meant to be a funny artifact that cartographically distorts Euclidean space and Mercator projection in order to suggest a more perceptually accurate “mattering map.”

It also contains over 800 names in its “population,” some expected, others quite surprising… On the original 1968 version of the map, graphic designer Shubb and conceptualizer Crabb (later a pioneering computer programmer) display key sites of the 1960s urban folk revival as a playful Pangaea. Locations such as Greenwich Village in New York City, Berkeley in California, and Cambridge, Massachusetts are large, while the “Rest of the World” has been moved to a small island on the margins. Key neighborhoods, performance venues, and public locations appear more prominently, sometimes whimsically placed. The idea for the map originated in 1967 when Crabb remarked to a hitchhiker from Berkeley to Kansas City that he should ask for rides to New York City since “it was closer.”

This example is the second edition, revised and reprinted in 1969. According to Shubb himself, “before the second printing I cleaned up the art a little, correcting an unintended gap between dot screens, making some of the colors more vivid, and adding a few more names.” A third issue of the map was also published in 1970, featuring entirely new artwork.


Map Details

Publication Date: 1969

Author: Rick Shubb

Sheet Width (in): 16.75

Sheet Height (in): 21.60

Condition: A

Condition Description: Near fine condition overall.

Out of stock