Here is what I have always thought was the best visual depication of Kaimi’s theory of Book of Mormon geography. The painting is by the wonderful Minerva Teichert.
Very nice, Nate! Who can argue with art like that? :)
If we are going the route of doctrine by painters, why is it that all the paintings of the Book of Mormon tend to look like an odd mixing of Roman and Mezo-American dress? Now if I saw a painting with a teepee, a totem pole or something more North American I’d buy this assumption that it took over all the Americas. (BTW – I like Minerva Teichert but I sure wish she wasn’t so enraptured by pastels)
I think the Roman-Mesoamerican look is a result of the gravitational pull of Arnold Frieberg. The Sunday School Board (way back when it was an independent organization) commissioned him to paint some illustrations of the Book of Mormon. Other artists have continually aped Freiberg. What makes Tiechert so much fun is that she predates Freiberg and is thus completely free of his influence.
BTW, if you look at the angel Moroni on the Los Angles Temple (built about when Frieberg did his paintings), you notice the same combination. The face is very self-consciously Amerindian (sort of Peruvian looking as I remember). On the other hand, he is wearing what looks like Roman armor.
Minevera Teichert is my favorite Mormon artist. Her painting of Chirst as the Good Shepherd is wonderful. But the geography in this painting is terrible! You have Florida scarcely 200 miles from the coast of Venezuela (no room for Cuba much less the Carribean), the mouth of the Amazon several hundred miles off target, and hardly any room at all for Central America (where much of the Book of Mormon may have actually taken place).
Since there is no straightforward way to stylize a map in art, if you are going to include one in your work it has got to be correct.
True, however if the map were more realistic, it might have been harder to show Christ in a straight top-to-bottom line. And the image might not be as powerful if it showed Jesus at a 15 degree angle. :)