University of Wisconsin alumnus Garrett Dash Nelson is Curator of Maps for the Norman B. Leventhal Map and Education Center at the Boston Public Library, and he led the team that developed the startlingly relevant new online exhibition, “BENDING LINES: Maps and Data from Distortion to Deception.”
The show covers 500 years of data manipulation used to influence public opinion — from benign applications in advertising and ephemera to more sinister deployment in propaganda and election outcomes. BENDING LINES’ curatorial dive into how maps and visual data have manipulated truth throughout history is strikingly relevant in today’s political climate.
The Leventhal Map Center intended for BENDING LINES to open in its Boston gallery at the Library’s main branch. The team pivoted to an online-first release when coronavirus concerns shut down the space. A physical exhibit is planned after the library reopens later this year.