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The “Time & Tide” Map of the United Nations

  • Author: GILL, (Leslie) MacDonald (artist)
  • Publisher: Time & Tide Magazine - George Philip & Son Ltd (publishers)
  • Date: [1942]1948
  • Dimensions: Sheet size: 113.4 x 86.8 cms / Map size: 109 x 75.5 cms (with printed banner title header above)


MacDonald Gill’s spectacular “Time and Tide” map of the United Nations [1948], a revised update of his Atlantic Charter map [1942]

About this piece:

The “Time & Tide” Map of the United Nations

Bright & still fresh printed colours. Old institutional red ink stamp in upper right corner. Original vertical and horizontal folds. A few very minor cosmetic repairs, including to one small puncture hole, but overall a very fine example. 

In 1948 British publisher George Philip & Son Ltd published a revised edition of MacDonald Gill’s “Time and Tide” map of the Atlantic Charter, originally commissioned by Time and Tide Magazine in 1941 to commemorate the Anglo-American endorsement of the terms of the so-called Atlantic Charter,  which resulted from the meeting of British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, and American President, Franklin D. Roosevelt at the Atlantic Conference in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland in August 1941. The aim of the Atlantic Charter was to establish the ideals and principles of the post-war peace after the ultimate defeat of Fascism. The meeting took place just four months before America’s entry into the war as Britain’s ally, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. The terms of the Atlantic Charter were further endorsed by 26 international governments in the Declaration of the United Nations in January 1942 published during the Arcadia Conference. The Charter of the United Nations proper, which laid the foundations of the United Nations organisation, emerged at the end of the War, when it was signed by fifty one signatory governments in San Francisco in June 1945, and came into force four months later in October 1945, after ratification by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and a majority of the other original signatories. The main guiding principles and purposes of the United Nations, as outlined in Article One of the Charter, are replicated here in a large text panel in the upper half of the map. The text reads:

CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS. WE, THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS, DETERMINED to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to Mankind, and…to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women of nations large and small, and to establish conditions under which justice and the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom. AND FOR THESE ENDS to practise tolerance and live together with one another as good neighbours and to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security and to ensure by the acceptance of principles and the institution of metods, that armed force shall not be used, save in common interest and to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples. HAVE RESOLVED TO COMBINE OUR EFFORTS TO ACCOMPLISH THESE AIMS. Accordingly our respective Governments, through representatives assembled in the City of San Francisco, who have exhibited their full powers found to be in good and due form, have agreed to the present Charter of the United Nations and do hereby establish an international organization to be known as the United Nations. 

Gill’s original 1942 design incorporated in this text panel the eight principal objectives of the Atlantic Charter, as agreed by Churchill and Roosevelt in August 1941. A further roundel panel of text, located in the right centre of the 1942 map, has here been erased and replaced by a circular polar projection map of the world inscribed with the words “The United Nations”.

Below the text panel is a large and detailed pictorial Mercator-projection map of the World, with a symbolic key identifying the principal agricultural products and industrial minerals in every region. Short banner quotes relating to war and peace from Aristotle, Cicero, Pope and Emerson further adorn the map, whilst a most striking modern portrayal of the prophet Isaiah’s Old Testament vision of a World “where swords will be turned into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks” fills the lower left corner. Modern weapons of mass destruction, tanks and heavy artillery guns fall under the assault of a hammer-wielding workman, whilst the background scene reveals idyllic rural vistas of ploughing and harvesting.  MacDonald Gill’s signature and the original date of 1942 appears in the lower right corner. The imprints of George Philip & Son Ltd and the Copyright date 1948 appear in the lower blank margin of the map, just outside the decorative border.

Examples of both of Gill’s Atlantic Charter and United Nations maps appear to be exceedingly uncommon, certainly in comparison to other maps and posters produced by Gill during these 1940’s wartime & post-war years.