Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Moldovan Family Holy Land Map Collection

Moldovan Family Holy Land Map Collection
The Moldovan family Holy Land Map Collection was built over several decades by Dr. Alfred Moldovan and his family. It consists of 94 discrete maps dating from 1480-1797, printed in 23 distinct locations across Europe. The majority of the maps were printed in the 17th and 18th centuries in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Basel, Lyon, Paris, Rome, Strassburg, Tuebingen, and Venice. There are over fifty cartographers and engravers represented, including Adrichem, Bunting, Calmet, Hole, Mercator, Munster, Ortelius, Visscher, Wit, and Ziegler. It also features the unique surviving copy of Antonio De Angelis’s map of Jerusalem, printed in Rome in 1578. The map, the first view of Jerusalem based on direct observation and a key source for subsequent Holy Land cartography, was discovered by Dr. Moldovan and subsequently published in a study by him in 1983 in an article entitled “The Lost De Angelis Map of Jerusalem, 1578" in The Map Collector vol. 24 (1983), 17-25,
http://www.artwis.com/articles/the-lost-de-angelis-map-of-jerusalem-1578/ )

These digital facsimiles were presented to the Penn Libraries in 2009 by Dr. Alfred Moldovan, one of the world’s foremost Judaica collectors over the last half-century and an expert on the authentici­ty of Jewish ceremonial art. He was born on the East side of New York in 1921 to immigrant, Yiddish-speaking parents.  During World War II, he served in Italy as a Captain and a Radar Officer in the 455th Bom­bardment Group of the Fifteenth Air Force. On returning to the United States, he attend­ed medical school on the G.I. Bill, joined the Communist Party and received permission to fulfill his mobilization service as a fam­ily doctor in East Harlem, which kept him busy for over fifty years.
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