By: Boris Artsybasheff
Date: 1944 (published) New York
Dimensions: 14.5 x 22 inches (36.8 x 55.9 cm)
This is a striking map published by Life Magazine in the 1940s depicting the distribution of major tropical diseases throughout the world. The disturbing imagery used to identify various diseases jumps out as no geopolitical boundaries or topographical information is depicted.
A man with no nose identifies areas of Leishmaniasis, a crooked hand represents areas of Leprosy, Plague is identified using a rat which carries the fleas that transmit the disease, pink shading indicates more than 50% of the human populated world that suffers from Malaria, and numerous insects represent other diseases such as Cholera, Sleeping Sickness, Typhus, Dengue and Yellow Fever.
The time at which this map was made is something to consider as during the mid-19th century, there were a number of medial breakthroughs with the use of vaccines. One must also respect what Aftsybasheff did when making the map by deciding not to identify affected areas with simple colors and line patterns, but hair raising imagery representative of the horrific nature of such diseases.
Condition: Map is in B+ condition with minor centerfold separations (common among magazine maps) reinforced on the verso with archival materials.