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2/27/20 – If Tolkien Had Drawn Maps of the National Parks

Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy or The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis will no doubt recognize the map artistry of Pauline Baynes (1922-2008). While Tolkien and his son Christopher drew some of the maps for the books, Baynes was the only other artist approved by Tolkien to illustrate the maps for his books. Since then, many others have copies or imitated that style to reproduce the lands of Middle Earth. That particularly recognizable pointillistic style of pen and ink — depicting wild landscapes full of imposing mountain ranges and impenetrable forests — seems to evoke the imagination like no other. One artist, Dan Bell, has been having fun reimagining that style of Tolkien to create maps of real places, in Europe and North America. You can view them, and purchase prints, on his website, MiddleEarthMaps.com. Recently Backpacker magazine commissioned Bell to create a few maps of national parks, like Everglades and Great Smoky Mountains. Check them out here!