COLLECTING ACROSS CULTURES MATERIAL EXCHANGES IN THE EARLY MODERN ATLANTIC WORLD THE EARLY MODERN AMERICAS

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Collecting Across Cultures

Author : Daniela Bleichmar
ISBN : 9780812204964
Genre : History
File Size : 31.38 MB
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In the early modern age more people traveled farther than at any earlier time in human history. Many returned home with stories of distant lands and at least some of the objects they collected during their journeys. And those who did not travel eagerly acquired wondrous materials that arrived from faraway places. Objects traveled various routes—personal, imperial, missionary, or trade—and moved not only across space but also across cultures. Histories of the early modern global culture of collecting have focused for the most part on European Wunderkammern, or "cabinets of curiosities." But the passion for acquiring unfamiliar items rippled across many lands. The court in Java marveled at, collected, and displayed myriad goods brought through its halls. African princes traded captured members of other African groups so they could get the newest kinds of cloth produced in Europe. Native Americans sought colored glass beads made in Europe, often trading them to other indigenous groups. Items changed hands and crossed cultural boundaries frequently, often gaining new and valuable meanings in the process. An object that might have seemed mundane in some cultures could become a target of veneration in another. The fourteen essays in Collecting Across Cultures represent work by an international group of historians, art historians, and historians of science. Each author explores a specific aspect of the cross-cultural history of collecting and display from the dawn of the sixteenth century to the early decades of the nineteenth century. As the essays attest, an examination of early modern collecting in cross-cultural contexts sheds light on the creative and complicated ways in which objects in collections served to create knowledge—some factual, some fictional—about distant peoples in an increasingly transnational world.
Category: History

Visual Voyages

Author : Daniela Bleichmar
ISBN : 9780300224023
Genre : Art
File Size : 37.99 MB
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An unprecedented visual exploration of the intertwined histories of art and science, of the old world and the new From the voyages of Christopher Columbus to those of Alexander von Humboldt and Charles Darwin, the depiction of the natural world played a central role in shaping how people on both sides of the Atlantic understood and imaged the region we now know as Latin America. Nature provided incentives for exploration, commodities for trade, specimens for scientific investigation, and manifestations of divine forces. It also yielded a rich trove of representations, created both by natives to the region and visitors, which are the subject of this lushly illustrated book. Author Daniela Bleichmar shows that these images were not only works of art but also instruments for the production of knowledge, with scientific, social, and political repercussions. Early depictions of Latin American nature introduced European audiences to native medicines and religious practices. By the 17th century, revelatory accounts of tobacco, chocolate, and cochineal reshaped science, trade, and empire around the globe. In the 18th and 19th centuries, collections and scientific expeditions produced both patriotic and imperial visions of Latin America. Through an interdisciplinary examination of more than 150 maps, illustrated manuscripts, still lifes, and landscape paintings spanning four hundred years, Visual Voyages establishes Latin America as a critical site for scientific and artistic exploration, affirming that region's transformation and the transformation of Europe as vitally connected histories.
Category: Art

Building The British Atlantic World

Author : Daniel Maudlin
ISBN : 9781469626833
Genre : Architecture
File Size : 84.7 MB
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Spanning the North Atlantic rim from Canada to Scotland, and from the Caribbean to the coast of West Africa, the British Atlantic world is deeply interconnected across its regions. In this groundbreaking study, thirteen leading scholars explore the idea of transatlanticism--or a shared "Atlantic world" experience--through the lens of architecture, built spaces, and landscapes in the British Atlantic from the seventeenth century through the mid-nineteenth century. Examining town planning, churches, forts, merchants' stores, state houses, and farm houses, this collection shows how the powerful visual language of architecture and design allowed the people of this era to maintain common cultural experiences across different landscapes while still forming their individuality. By studying the interplay between physical construction and social themes that include identity, gender, taste, domesticity, politics, and race, the authors interpret material culture in a way that particularly emphasizes the people who built, occupied, and used the spaces and reflects the complex cultural exchanges between Britain and the New World.
Category: Architecture

Visible Empire

Author : Daniela Bleichmar
ISBN : 9780226058559
Genre : Science
File Size : 41.2 MB
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Between 1777 and 1816, botanical expeditions crisscrossed the vast Spanish empire in an ambitious project to survey the flora of much of the Americas, the Caribbean, and the Philippines. While these voyages produced written texts and compiled collections of specimens, they dedicated an overwhelming proportion of their resources and energy to the creation of visual materials. European and American naturalists and artists collaborated to manufacture a staggering total of more than 12,000 botanical illustrations. Yet these images have remained largely overlooked—until now. In this lavishly illustrated volume, Daniela Bleichmar gives this archive its due, finding in these botanical images a window into the worlds of Enlightenment science, visual culture, and empire. Through innovative interdisciplinary scholarship that bridges the histories of science, visual culture, and the Hispanic world, Bleichmar uses these images to trace two related histories: the little-known history of scientific expeditions in the Hispanic Enlightenment and the history of visual evidence in both science and administration in the early modern Spanish empire. As Bleichmar shows, in the Spanish empire visual epistemology operated not only in scientific contexts but also as part of an imperial apparatus that had a long-established tradition of deploying visual evidence for administrative purposes.
Category: Science

Slave Portraiture In The Atlantic World

Author : Agnes Lugo-Ortiz
ISBN : 9781107354784
Genre : History
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Slave Portraiture in the Atlantic World is the first book to focus on the individualized portrayal of enslaved people from the time of Europe's full engagement with plantation slavery in the late sixteenth century to its final official abolition in Brazil in 1888. While this period saw the emergence of portraiture as a major field of representation in Western art, 'slave' and 'portraiture' as categories appear to be mutually exclusive. On the one hand, the logic of chattel slavery sought to render the slave's body as an instrument for production, as the site of a non-subject. Portraiture, on the contrary, privileged the face as the primary visual matrix for the representation of a distinct individuality. Essays address this apparent paradox of 'slave portraits' from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives, probing the historical conditions that made the creation of such rare and enigmatic objects possible and exploring their implications for a more complex understanding of power relations under slavery.
Category: History

Colonial Botany

Author : Londa Schiebinger
ISBN : 9780812293470
Genre : History
File Size : 59.34 MB
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In the early modern world, botany was big science and big business, critical to Europe's national and trade ambitions. Tracing the dynamic relationships among plants, peoples, states, and economies over the course of three centuries, this collection of essays offers a lively challenge to a historiography that has emphasized the rise of modern botany as a story of taxonomies and "pure" systems of classification. Charting a new map of botany along colonial coordinates, reaching from Europe to the New World, India, Asia, and other points on the globe, Colonial Botany explores how the study, naming, cultivation, and marketing of rare and beautiful plants resulted from and shaped European voyages, conquests, global trade, and scientific exploration. From the earliest voyages of discovery, naturalists sought profitable plants for king and country, personal and corporate gain. Costly spices and valuable medicinal plants such as nutmeg, tobacco, sugar, Peruvian bark, peppers, cloves, cinnamon, and tea ranked prominently among the motivations for European voyages of discovery. At the same time, colonial profits depended largely on natural historical exploration and the precise identification and effective cultivation of profitable plants. This volume breaks new ground by treating the development of the science of botany in its colonial context and situating the early modern exploration of the plant world at the volatile nexus of science, commerce, and state politics. Written by scholars as international as their subjects, Colonial Botany uncovers an emerging cultural history of plants and botanical practices in Europe and its possessions.
Category: History

American Curiosity

Author : Susan Scott Parrish
ISBN : 9780807838891
Genre : History
File Size : 78.48 MB
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Colonial America presented a new world of natural curiosities for settlers as well as the London-based scientific community. In American Curiosity, Susan Scott Parrish examines how various peoples in the British colonies understood and represented the natural world around them from the late sixteenth century through the eighteenth. Parrish shows how scientific knowledge about America, rather than flowing strictly from metropole to colony, emerged from a horizontal exchange of information across the Atlantic. Delving into an understudied archive of letters, Parrish uncovers early descriptions of American natural phenomena as well as clues to how people in the colonies construed their own identities through the natural world. Although hierarchies of gender, class, institutional learning, place of birth or residence, and race persisted within the natural history community, the contributions of any participant were considered valuable as long as they supplied novel data or specimens from the American side of the Atlantic. Thus Anglo-American nonelites, women, Indians, and enslaved Africans all played crucial roles in gathering and relaying new information to Europe. Recognizing a significant tradition of nature writing and representation in North America well before the Transcendentalists, American Curiosity also enlarges our notions of the scientific Enlightenment by looking beyond European centers to find a socially inclusive American base to a true transatlantic expansion of knowledge.
Category: History

Plants And Empire

Author : Londa L Schiebinger
ISBN : 0674043278
Genre : Nature
File Size : 51.77 MB
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Plants seldom figure in the grand narratives of war, peace, or even everyday life yet they are often at the center of high intrigue. In the eighteenth century, epic scientific voyages were sponsored by European imperial powers to explore the natural riches of the New World, and uncover the botanical secrets of its people. Bioprospectors brought back medicines, luxuries, and staples for their king and country. Risking their lives to discover exotic plants, these daredevil explorers joined with their sponsors to create a global culture of botany. But some secrets were unearthed only to be lost again. In this moving account of the abuses of indigenous Caribbean people and African slaves, Schiebinger describes how slave women brewed the "peacock flower" into an abortifacient, to ensure that they would bear no children into oppression. Yet, impeded by trade winds of prevailing opinion, knowledge of West Indian abortifacients never flowed into Europe. A rich history of discovery and loss, "Plants and Empire" explores the movement, triumph, and extinction of knowledge in the course of encounters between Europeans and the Caribbean populations.
Category: Nature

The Art Of Conversion

Author : Cécile Fromont
ISBN : 9781469618722
Genre : Art
File Size : 78.90 MB
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Between the sixteenth and the nineteenth centuries, the west central African kingdom of Kongo practiced Christianity and actively participated in the Atlantic world as an independent, cosmopolitan realm. Drawing on an expansive and largely unpublished set of objects, images, and documents, Cecile Fromont examines the advent of Kongo Christian visual culture and traces its development across four centuries marked by war, the Atlantic slave trade, and, finally, the rise of nineteenth-century European colonialism. By offering an extensive analysis of the religious, political, and artistic innovations through which the Kongo embraced Christianity, Fromont approaches the country's conversion as a dynamic process that unfolded across centuries. The African kingdom's elite independently and gradually intertwined old and new, local and foreign religious thought, political concepts, and visual forms to mold a novel and constantly evolving Kongo Christian worldview. Fromont sheds light on the cross-cultural exchanges between Africa, Europe, and Latin America that shaped the early modern world, and she outlines the religious, artistic, and social background of the countless men and women displaced by the slave trade from central Africa to all corners of the Atlantic world.
Category: Art

Nature And Culture In The Early Modern Atlantic

Author : Peter C. Mancall
ISBN : 9780812294590
Genre : History
File Size : 48.87 MB
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In the sixteenth-century Atlantic world, nature and culture swirled in people's minds to produce fantastic images. In the South of France, a cloister's painted wooden panels greeted parishioners with vivid depictions of unicorns, dragons, and centaurs, while Mayans in the Yucatan created openings to buildings that resembled a fierce animal's jaws, known to archaeologists as serpent-column portals. In Nature and Culture in the Early Modern Atlantic, historian Peter C. Mancall reveals how Europeans and Native Americans thought about a natural world undergoing rapid change in the century following the historic voyages of Christopher Columbus. Through innovative use of oral history and folklore maintained for centuries by Native Americans, as well as original use of spectacular manuscript atlases, paintings that depict on-the-spot European representations of nature, and texts that circulated imperfectly across the ocean, he reveals how the encounter between the old world and the new changed the fate of millions of individuals. This inspired work of Atlantic, European, and American history begins with medieval concepts of nature and ends in an age when the printed book became the primary avenue for the dissemination of scientific information. Throughout the sixteenth century, the borders between the natural world and the supernatural were more porous than modern readers might realize. Native Americans and Europeans alike thought about monsters, spirits, and insects in considerable depth. In Mancall's vivid narrative, the modern world emerged as a result of the myriad encounters between peoples who inhabited the Atlantic basin in this period. The centuries that followed can be comprehended only by exploring how culture in its many forms—stories, paintings, books—shaped human understanding of the natural world.
Category: History