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1960

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Print, The Discovery of America, plate 1 from Nova Reperta (New Inventions of Modern Times)

This is a Print. It was published by Philips Galle and after Jan van der Straet, called Stradanus. We acquired it in 1960. Its medium is engraving on laid paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

This European 16th-century print is from a series illustrating recent inventions and technological advancements that would aid in the advancement of Europe. The inclusion of The Discovery of America suggests that the conquest of the New World would be similarly exploited for European benefit. Amerigo Vespucci here sets foot for the first time in the New World and encounters an indigenous woman, “America” herself. He is fully dressed, including wearing armor under his robe, and in possession of various markers of power, religion, and navigation, while America rises as if from slumber, nude except for a feathered loincloth and headdress. Vespucci’s accounts of his travels in the New World led to the formulation of the stereotypes of American primitiveness, including nudity and cannibalism.

This object was catalogued by Julia Siemon.

Cite this object as

Print, The Discovery of America, plate 1 from Nova Reperta (New Inventions of Modern Times); Published by Philips Galle (Flemish, 1537 - 1612); Netherlands; engraving on laid paper; 1960-1-8

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18429667/ |title=Print, The Discovery of America, plate 1 from Nova Reperta (New Inventions of Modern Times) |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=15 February 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>