Journal Article

Wonders of America

Isabel Yaya

in Journal of the History of Collections

Volume 20, issue 2, pages 173-188
Published in print November 2008 | ISSN: 0954-6650
Published online February 2008 | e-ISSN: 1477-8564 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jhc/fhm038
Wonders of America

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This essay examines the representation of the New World in cabinets of curiosities throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Despite the contrasting nature of these private collections and the varying degrees of access that European states had to such exotic objects, the characterization and assessment of the Americana displays a consistent similarity. It is argued here that the meaning of these items within the microcosm of the cabinets can be comprehended by the intellectual enterprise that sustained the gathering of curiosities and by the representation of Amerindian societies in moral history works.

Journal Article.  10901 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Exhibition Catalogues and Specific Collections ; History of Art ; Social and Cultural History

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