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Object Timeline

1960

  • We acquired this object.

2015

2018

2020

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

This is a Print. It was designed by Jan van der Straet, called Stradanus and print maker: Theodor Galle and published by Philips Galle and dedicatee: Luigi Alamanni. 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 donated by Estate of James Hazen Hyde.

Cite this object as

Print, The Discovery of America, plate 1 from the "Nova Reperta" (New Inventions of Modern Times); Designed by Jan van der Straet, called Stradanus (Flemish, 1523–1605); Netherlands; engraving on laid paper; 1960-1-8

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Rebeca Méndez Selects.

This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18429667/ |title=Print, The Discovery of America, plate 1 from the "Nova Reperta" (New Inventions of Modern Times) |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=11 July 2020 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>