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19th Annual Convention of the National Association of Real Estate Boards: at Tulsa June 7 to 11 in 1926

  • Author: Sahula, Ignatz (artist)
  • Publisher: National Association of Real Estate Boards
  • Engraver: R R Donnelly & Sons, Chicago (Printers)
  • Date: 1926
  • Dimensions: Image: 118 x 87.5cms / Sheet: 121 x 91 cms.


Superb pictorial Map of USA by Ignatz Sahula advertising the National Association of Real Estate Boards’ 1926 Annual Convention

About this piece:

Title: 19th Annual Convention of the National Association of Real Estate Boards: at Tulsa, June 7 to June 11 in 1926

Inscribed (u. r): Map Designed in 1926 by Ignatz Sahula – Chicago

Imprint (l. l margin): Copyrighted 1926. National Association of Real Estate Boards

Imprint (l. r margin): Printed by R R Donnelley & Sons…Chicago. USA.

Image: 118 x 87.5cms. Sheet: 121 x 91 cms. Original colour-printed lithograph. Traces of old folds. Some very minor repairs and two or three small areas of surface loss at original fold junctures upper left & right, these now expertly & virtually invisibly filled & reinstated in manuscript with very careful retouching of colour. Some light soiling to verso of sheet, the latter now lined & backed with museum-quality tissue for better preservation & presentation.

“The vibrant colors, bold design and large size combine to make this one of the most extraordinary pictorial maps of its era…”  

(Stephen J Hornsby: Picturing America – the golden age of pictorial maps, Plate 131, pp.218-219)

This exceptionally rare pictorial & cartographic tour de force was conceived and designed in early 1926 by the little-known Chicago-based commercial artist, Ignatz Sahula (or Sahula-Dycke) [1900-1982]. Printed by the Chicago firm of R R Donnelley & Sons, it was commissioned by the US National Association of Real Estate Boards to advertise and promote its June 1926 National Convention taking place in the City of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

It is one of the first great pictorial maps of this mid-1920s era, a exemplary apogee of the distinctive and vibrant character of this stunning new style of cartography, whose history and development Hornsby’s book so skilfully charts & expounds.

Reflecting the catchphrase that “All Roads lead to Tulsa”, the City is depicted as the true centrepoint of the map.  A large decorative compass spur reinforces the point whilst two local officials hold up a welcome banner reading “Howdy Folks!”

A panel bottom centre elaborates further:

Howdy, Realtors!

Take a slant at this latest map of the United States and parts of Canada and learn something they left out of your old School atlas – that TULSA will be the centre of North America JUNE 7 TO 11. Your eyes don’t deceive you when you see that all roads lead to Tulsa – the railroads – motor roads – air roads and the good old open road. They are all marked so plain that all you need to do is show the map to the flivver or air taxi and let the engines do the rest. Then you can see all the real estate along the way. When you get to the end of the trail you will find Tulsa and all the Oklahoma  boys ready with the Old West – Indians, cowboys, bronchos – all brushed up pretty to show you the time of your life. And the New West, with its oil wells and up to the minute skyscrapers will give you something to think about. Come to Tulsa – and say “Howdy Folks!” to Realtors from Everywhere! 

A network of vibrant yellow roads and highways converge on the City from destinations across the United States & Canada and depicted in vibrantly colourful pictorial fashion. Amid this bright & varied landscape, individual presidents and prominent individual figures from the Association’s regional & state boards are wonderfully caricatured & identified by name, the array of accompanying speech bubbles and humorous annotations referencing the particular regional stereotypes, topography, agriculture, farms & commercial enterprises of the States from which they come. A large red biplane can be seen flying in over the coasts of California brings a host of Hawaiian realtors from Honolulu, one happily seated on the upper wing, above the cockpit, surveying from afar the growing throng of colleagues now gathering in Tulsa. Off the East coast, a pair of New Jersey and Maryland realtors, “crowded off the map” resort to an open boat, seemingly to row all the way to Tulsa via Florida and the Gulf of Mexico! Amongst the other humorous & entertaining pictorial vignettes that populate this unique map perhaps the most bizarre is the motorized multi-eyed giant potato seen making its way to Tulsa along Idaho’s highways.

In the upper corners of the map, symbolic shields denote the different specialisms and administrative sub-divisions within the Real Estate Association nationwide. At the bottom left is a detailed street plan  of Tulsa, whilst the side borders provide a full listing of the the inidividual member boards for each State, including Canada.

Ignatz Wenseslas Sahula or Sahula-Dycke [1900-1982] was born in the town of Skutec, Bohemia (Czech Republic), about 100 miles east of Prague, on July 5th 1900. He was the eldest son of Jan Sahula [1864-1932] and Eugenie Dyck [1865-1916]. A younger brother Jiri (George) was born in 1902 and a younger sister Marie (Mary) in  1904. His father was a conductor, concert violinist and music teacher who both trained & taught at the Prague Conservatoire. His mother was an artist and designer who specialised in Czech folk lore. Family tradition held that through his mother’s family tree he could trace his ancestry back to the famous 17th Century Flemish artist, Anthony van Dyck [1599-1641].  The Sahula family emigrated to the United States in 1908, arriving in New York aboard the SS Main in October of that year. They subsequently settled in Chicago, where Ignatz quickly found his niche both as an accomplished violinist and budding artist. The equine sketches & paintings of th famous Czech artist, Mikulas Ales [1852-1913] provided an early source of inspiration for the young “Iggy”, from which he developed a lifelong passion for painting horses. He studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts between 1911 and 1918, then served for a short period in the US Navy between 1918 & 1919. He subsequently returned to Chicago and by the mid-1920s was an established commercial artist and illustrator with a studio-office in the City’s Wrigley Building at 410 N.Michigan. In 1925 he won the Robert Rice Jenkins award from the Art Institute of Chicago, of which he later became a life member. Perhaps that artistic notoriety brought him this unique commission from the National Association of Real Estate Boards early the following year, one which he clearly embraced with considerable creative energy & artistic gusto. Between 1928 and 1937 he worked as art director for a number of Detroit advertising agencies, specialising in automobile advertising and producing newspaper campaigns for such well-known brands as Chrysler, Dodge and Cadillac. He moved to a new agency, Tracey Locke Dawson Inc, as art director of their Dallas offices in 1938, where he remained until the early 1950s. In the 1940s and early 1950s Sahula-Dycke moved across the American South West, living in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and adjoining states, where he honed his own skills and style as an objective painter of Western life and action, his work invariably featuring native American Indians and horses. He also became a well-known magazine artist & illustrator, working for the likes of Harpers, Field & Stream, The Cattleman, Quarter Horse Journal and the New Mexico Magazine, of which he became principal editor & art director in 1954 (until 1958), having settled in Santa Fe the previous year and established his own art studio there. During this period he also worked as a book illustrator for New York publishers Simon & Schuster. His book cover artwork includes such works as The Rawhider [1952] and Hopalong Cassidy and the Bar 20 Cowboy [1953]. In 1943 he wrote a specialist textbook, “Way to Design“. In 1963 his first & only novel, Alias Kinson or the Ghost of Billy the Kid was published. A modest man with strongly-held atheist convictions, the final years of his life witnessed the publication of several articles & books on the themes of atheism & God. For the last 20 years of his life he resided in Las Vegas, where he died in December 1982. His ashes are interred at the Masonic Cemetery, Las Vegas, alongside those of his third wife, Dorothy Fell Sahula-Dycke [1911-1999]. His two sons, Ignatz Jr (Iggy) [1934-2016] & Peter also became well-known artists in their own right: Iggy an accomplished NYC graphic designer who also worked in computer illustration and silver casting, whilst brother Peter enjoyed a long & highly successful career as a New York fashion photographer.

We know of only one other example of this map in US institutional collections, currently preserved in the Norman Leventhal Collection, Boston Public Library.


Norman Leventhal Collection, Boston Public Library

Stephen J Hornsby: Picturing America – the golden age of pictorial maps, Plate 131, pp.218-219 & pp.22 & 186