The Map of Mankind [with] The Races of Mankind

An uncomfortable examination of racial divisions across the globe in the wake of WWII.

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Malvina Hoffman was one of the best known sculptors of the early 20th century; famous for her realistic, life-size busts. The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago commissioned her to do a series of 104 sculptures covering all races of mankind for display at the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition.

This map and accompanying booklet is an examination of this exhibit published shortly after the end of World War II, and Hoffman’s introduction highlights the conflict as a catalyst for its creation. “One of the inevitable consequences of the global war is a wider knowledge concerning the peoples that inhabit the world.” She goes on, “The men of the armed forces bring back vivid and often grateful memories of distant lands and natives who have shown how brave and trustworthy primitive tribesmen can be. When we live with these children of the jungle, or the desert, we are amazed to find them so full of humor and natural intelligence, so human.”

Once laid bare, this patronizing attitude can be seen throughout the map and accompanying booklet, which was written by Dr. Henry Field. The map includes photographs of nearly 80 of the bronzes that were created for the Races of Mankind exhibit; each of which is accompanied by a number and circle which identifies the race geographically and the composition of its ‘racial stock’.

A generally distasteful overview of postwar racial attitudes that were celebrated openly until the Civil Rights Era. It’s no surprise that the Races of Mankind exhibit was shuttered permanently in 1969.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1946

Author: C.S. Hammond & Co.

Sheet Width (in): 32.00

Sheet Height (in): 25.00

Condition: A-

Condition Description: The map was formerly folded into 8 panels to fit into the accompanying envelope (present, but worn). Light wear and creasing along former fold lines. Also includes the 22 page booklet, The Races of Mankind, which measures 9.25" x 12" and has stapled binding. All in very good condition, with the exception of the envelope.

Out of stock