1982 Archar Pictorial View of Boston, Massachusetts

Boston. - Main View

1982 Archar Pictorial View of Boston, Massachusetts


Boston's Beautiful (and Brutalist) Architecture.


  1982 (dated)     28 x 38 in (71.12 x 96.52 cm)


A large pictorial 'city character print' view of Boston, Massachusetts, produced by Archar Inc. in 1982.
A Closer Look
The view is oriented towards the west, but takes artistic license on perspective in order to fit in several prominent locations, especially Logan Airport in the foreground, and the J.F.K. Library and UMass Boston at left. Patriotic figures representing Minutemen stand in the foreground. Universities, hospitals, parks, sports stadiums, and other landmarks are labeled throughout, with an emphasis on the contemporary rather than the historical, including examples of modernist and brutalist architecture, such as the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston building and the much-maligned ziggurat-esque City Hall, often called 'the world's ugliest building.' The John Hancock Building (1976) stands near center, the tallest building in Boston and New England (a title it still holds). Nonetheless, between the skyscrapers, less imposing but historically significant sites are noted, such as the Old North Church, Paul Revere's House, Faneuil Hall, and the Old State House.

Multiple local businesses are advertised, including the Klein Post Card Service at bottom-center, which distributed the view. Throughout, illustrated figures comment on the city and its charms, though some of the comments are incongruous and humorous, such as the woman in the foreground who says 'Women like the simple things in life… men!' or the Continental Army solider at Fort Independence at left who says 'Keep smiling… it makes people wonder what you've been up to.'
Publication History and Census
This pictorial view was drawn by artist 'J. M.' for Archar Inc. in 1982. The OCLC locates two examples: Syracuse University and one at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.


Archar / Travel Graphics (1973 - Present) is a Canadian and U.S. publishing company initially based in Toronto, Ontario. The firm is best known for its 'City Character Prints' - cartoonish view style maps intended to express the 'character' of a city. The firm employed a host of in house art directors, as well as a host of freelance illustrators. We find no trace of the company after 1983. Variants of the imprint include 'Archer Western' based in British Columbia and the St. Paul, Minnesota based 'Archar International'. Around 1984, the Minnesota firm was renamed Travel Graphics - Archer International, often printing under the 'Travel Graphics' imprint. Travel Graphics later relocated to Hawaii, where they remain active. More by this mapmaker...


Good. Pinholing in all four corners.


OCLC 931704981.