Charting Space: Herbert Bayer’s World Geo-Graphic Atlas at 70

Upcoming Exhibition – Opening June 20

In conjunction with the Aspen Institute’s primary exhibition devoted to the creation of the atlas presented in the Resnick Center for Herbert Bayer Studies, Andrew Travers, the inaugural Penner Manager of Educational Programming, is curating a year-long complementary educational presentation titled Charting Space: Herbert Bayer’s World Geo-Graphic Atlas at 70 in the Resnick Gallery located in the Doerr-Hosier Center.  Intended for visitors of all ages, but particularly for K-12 youths, the installation uses Bayer’s atlas as a springboard to explore current issues related to our world including, travel, natural resources, population, and conservation. Making use of interactive elements and multimedia experiences, the layout unfolds in three sections focusing on the themes that Bayer used to visualize the world for readers: the observable universe; the planet Earth; and individual states and countries.


A highlight of this installation will be a recreation of Herbert Bayer’s “Outside-In Globe” originally erected in 1943 for his exhibition Airways to Peace: An Exhibition of Geography for the Future created for the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The original 13-foot globe transferred the countries and bodies of water of the earth from the exterior – as was typically presented – to the interior of the sphere.  This allowed the viewer, standing inside the globe, to see a greater proportion of the earth’s surface and to observe the spatial relationships that were not understood in a two-dimensional map.  Bayer’s globe also emphasized the importance of air travel in the strategy of World War II and the vision of peace to come. The new 8-foot version, to be suspended from the Isaacson room ceiling, will represent an updated map and allow the viewer to be immersed within it. It will be available to be experienced by all visitors to the campus of the Aspen Institute starting in June 2023, during the Aspen Ideas Festival, throughout the summer, and the ensuing school year.


Bayer brought his fine artist’s sensibility and his humanistic approach to imagery from astronomers and physicists to most effectively communicate with readers.

To replicate an eruptive prominence of the sun, Bayer studied raw images of the phenomenon from the Mt. Wilson Observatory in California and the High Altitude Observatory in Colorado to illustrate his own in a fiery red.

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