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Geographical Guide to a Man’s Heart – Geographical Guide to a Woman’s Heart

  • Author: LOWREY, Jo (Artist)
  • Publisher: McCalls Magazine, Dayton, Ohio
  • Date: 1960
  • Dimensions: double page: 54 x 34.5 cms (each map: 27 x 34.5 cms)


Amusing pair of heart-shaped maps depicting the landscape of Man & Woman’s innermost emotions, McCall’s magazine, 1960

About this piece:

1. Geographical Guide to a Man’s Heart with obstacles and entrances clearly marked

2. Geographical Guide to a Woman’s Heart emphasizing points of interest to the romantic traveler

Pair of colour-printed engravings, a double-page spread (pp.32-33) from the January 1960 issue of McCall’s magazine. Printed text and illustrations to versos of both sheets. On very thin magazine paper stock with very slight see-through from verso. Three pairs of mirrored staple holes either side of centrefold, unfilled (not visible on map image). Overall in excellent condition.

Splendid pair of heart-shaped allegorical maps depicting the contrasting inner worlds & emotional landscapes of the Male & Female Sex.

Artist Jo Lowrey has refashioned the earlier 19th Century designs of the Connecticut Kellogg Brothers to fit the more contemporary profile of the early 1960s, the two maps appearing in the Jan 1960 issue of the popular women’s magazine, McCall’s, within a special pre-Valentine’s Day feature. In both maps Lowrey wittily highlights the prevailing social mores & traditional gender roles & stereotypes of early 1960s America.

The titles of the two maps provide a clear indication of these very distinct gender contrasts.

For Man the title suggests the need for the building of walls & obstacles to openness as a means of emotional self-protection. For Woman, it is about finding points of mutual & common interest and emotional sustenance & well-being through mutual friendship, love & affection.

Regions depicted include the youthful Country of Free Wheeling (with its capital Man About Town and its River of Independence and Stag Line Railroad; Territory of the Big Operator (with its landmarks: Unlimited Capital City (A Mirage); Ulcer Gulch; River of the Great Provider; Peak of Prosperity in the Blue Chip Mountains; Quicksands of Speculation; and Secretary Falls; State of Superiority (with its Cool Lakes of Confidence and its outer border defended by the Impenetrable Wall of Ego and , Land of Living it Up (with Splurge Lake & Area of Appetite); State of Solid Comfort (Capital: Armchairville with the nearby arcadian delights of Pipe & Slippers Meadow bounded by the River of the Family Man); Dominion of Heart Interest (with its Great Lake of Affection & Province of Preoccupation with a Pretty Face)At the very centre we find the tellingly named Walled City of the Inner Him.

For the opposite sex, the landscape is one which focuses upon themes of Fashion, Entertainment, Conversation, Social Interaction, Love, Romance & Affection. From youthful Party Girl Province (with its Railroad of the Passing Fancy and Dance Steppes), we pass through Mother Country and the Dominion of Dress, with its Little Forest of Lipsticks, Rivers of Femininity & the Good Homemaker and the tented encampment of Children’s Corner. The dangers of self-obsession and self-satisfaction are highlighed in the Kingdom of Conceit. Thence to the Love of Love Land (note the Swampland of Sentimentality; Platonic Plateau, Swoon Lake, Make Out Point, Just Friends Lane & Flirtation Walk; Garden of First Kisses and River of the Giving Heart. Next-door the State of Security with House & Lot Hill, Stringsavers Ravine, and Rainy Day Reservoir. Finally the Country of Conversation with the Stream of Consciousness and River of True Communication leading to the estuarial waters of Sound of her Own Voice. Other landmarks contrast Lowlands of Yak & Gossip Swamp with the Shallows of Shyness and Sanctuary of Silence. At the very centre can be found the equally telling Hidden City of the Inner Her.

Around the edges of each of the two Hearts suitably themed gates & thoroughfares lead into & out of the different emotional regions of the two sexes.

A delightfully amusing & entertaining allegorical perspective on early 1960s America.

Refs: P J Mode Collection #1362.01;

Katherine Harmon: You Are Here – Personal Geographies [2004], pp.53-44