Miami Florida 1935
- Author: SUCHY, Arthur B
- Publisher: The Miami Herald Newspaper, Miami, FL
- Date: 1935
- Dimensions: sheet: 49.5 x 59 cms
Arthur B Suchy’s superb Art Deco style map of Miami and Miami Beach, published by the “Miami Herald” newspaper in 1935
About this piece:
Miami Florida…Miami Beach USA / Meander Down to Miami…Florida’s Magic City.
Original colour-printed lithographic map. Traces of old folds. Two old vertical tears from upper sheet edge into top decorative border, previously reinforced with old tape (no longer present) and now carefully re-closed, and barely visible on recto. The verso with some residual staining from the two strips of old tape, now newly overlaid with transparent archival tissue. One additional reinforced edge tear at lower left in blank margin & short closed separation at end of horizontal fold in blank margin centrally on right side. Interesting original pencil inscription to verso penned by the artist, Arthur Suchy himself: “Map of Miami & Miami Beach Florida created for the Miami Herald in 1934. 50,000 copies”. With all an attractive example.
This handsome Art Deco style pictorial map of Miami & Miami Beach vividly encapsulates the City’s vibrant artistic and architectural heritage of the interwar years and is the work of the little-known Ohio artist and cartographer, Arthur Bartholomew Suchy [1899-1995].
Born in Cleveland at the turn of the 20th Century, Suchy later studied at Colegate University, New York from about 1919 to 1923 and is recorded in the University’s 1923 yearbook as a notable athlete and sportman, as well a Vice-President of the Students’ Association. He later went on to become a successful commercial artist and illustrator in a professional career spanning over 50 years. He took a particular interest in pictorial cartography maps, designing some half dozen decorative maps in the period between 1927 & 1940. One of his first depicted his alma mater, Colegate University and was published in 1927.
Further maps followed: the Heart of Cleveland ; Cleveland & Ohio City in 1836 ; The “Buckeye” State of Ohio, Mother of Presidents  and two maps of Florida, this map of Miami commissioned & published by the Miami Herald newspaper in 1935 and a second map of Key West, published by Suchy himself in about 1939. The latter was published in two formats, a special Collector’s Edition, hand-coloured and limited to just 150 copies and an uncoloured “everyday” edition for regular customers.
In his later years, Suchy undertook much straightforward commercial advertising and illustration work for a number of local US breweries in the mid-West. He died in Chagrin Falls, Ohio in 1995 and upon the liquidation of his estate, a considerable stockpile of many of his original printed maps came to light, of which this one of Miami is probably amongst the rarest. It is apparently one of only two examples that Suchy had carefully preserved & retained, the other now residing in the David Rumsey Collection.
Suchy’s personal papers & archive are now preserved in the Cleveland State Library.
Suchy’s original Miami map, from which this derivative design was copied on a much-reduced scale, apparently measured some 40 x 60 inches and was “done in antique style”. On the verso of the Rumsey Collection’s example of this map, Suchy provides another pencil note (dated 15th June 1971) in which he criticizes this Miami Herald version, noting how the engraver & printer completely failed to capture the detail and flavour of his original larger map. He finds particular fault with the “red beach” that delineates the Atlantic shoreline of Miami Beach & which he describes as “atrocious“!
The map itself extends from Coral Gables in the south to Miami Shores and in the north to the Miami Shores, just north of the 19th Street Causeway. To the east, the waters of Biscayne Bay and beyond, joined by three causeways, the offshore key that forms present-day Miami Beach. At its most westerly the map depicts the West Flagler Golf Course, and just to the north, beside a familiar pink flamingo, the recently incoporated mid-1920s suburbs of Miami Springs & Hialeah. The popular Hialeah Park race track, first opened in 1925, is pictured in a small inset upper left, beside a larger inset of the whole of Florida. Another small inset lower centre shows Florida in relation to the rest of the United States. The region’s legendary maritime past and present & exotic birdlife provide inspiration for the top and bottom pictorial borders, whilst the City’s numerous sporting and recreational attractions appear in cleverly silhouetted side panels depicting greyhound racing, flying, polo, sport fishing, yachting & sailing, golf, horse riding, tennis and swimming. A colourful border frieze of Floridian fruits, notably oranges & grapefruits, completes this superbly designed and highly attractive map.
Rarely offered on the market, despite some minor condition issues, this example comes with the added bonus & guarantee of direct provenance from the artist’s estate, and with Suchy’s own personal inscription in pencil on the verso. A decorative & worthy addition to any Miami or Florida map collection.
Refs: David Rumsey Collection