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Distributed for University of London Press

New World Objects of Knowledge

A Cabinet of Curiosities

A stunning, richly illustrated hardback cataloging key artifacts from across Latin American art, nature, and history.
From the late fifteenth century to the present day, countless explorers, conquerors, and other agents of empire have laid siege to the New World, plundering and pilfering its most precious artifacts and treasures. Today, these natural and cultural products—which are key to conceptualizing a history of Latin America—are scattered in museums around the world.

With contributions from a renowned set of scholars, New World Objects of Knowledge delves into the hidden histories of forty of the New World’s most iconic artifacts, from the Inca mummy to Darwin’s hummingbirds. This volume is richly illustrated with photos and sketches from the archives and museums hosting these objects. Each artifact is accompanied by a comprehensive essay covering its dynamic, often global, history and itinerary. This volume will be an indispensable catalog of New World objects and how they have helped shape our modern world.

350 pages | 164 color plates | 7 x 10

Institute of Latin American Studies

Art: American Art

Latin American Studies

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“What constitutes knowledge and how do natural (and human-made) objects from the Americas embody such knowledge? This dazzling cornucopia of short object biographies—whose itineraries stretch from the New World to around the world—privileges polysemic narratives over traditional histories, recasting America—and Latin America in particular—as an intellectual driver and powerful protagonist of knowledge production in the early modern age.”

Neil Safier, associate professor of history at Brown University and director of The John Carter Brown Library

Table of Contents

Introduction by Mark Thurner and Juan Pimentel


1 Codex Mendoza by Daniela Bleichmar
2 Macuilxochitl by Juan Pimentel
3 Potosi by Kris Lane
4 Piece of Eight by Alejandra Irigoin and Bridget Millmore
5 Pieza de Indias by Pablo Gomez
6 Rubber by Heloisa Maria Bertol Domingues and Emilie Ana Carreón Blaine
7 Silver Basin by Mariana Francozo
8 Feathered Shield by Linda Baez
9 Black by Adrian Masters
10 Cards by Jorge Canizares Esguerra
11 Mary’s Armadillo by Peter Mason
12 Mexican Portrait by Andrés Gutiérrez Usillos
13 Clay Vessel by Jorge Canizares-Esguerra
14 Singing Violin by Jorge Canizares Esguerra
15 Creole Cabinet by Juan Pimentel and Mark Thurner
16 Modern Quipu by Sabine and William Hyland
17 Memory Palaces by Jorge Canizares-Esguerra
18 Inca Mummy by Christopher Heaney
19 Xilonen by Miruna Achim
20 Machu Picchu by Amy Cox-Hall


21 Amazon by Roberto Chauca
22 Bird of Paradise by Jose Ramon Marcaida
23 Emeralds by Kris Lane
24 Pearls by Jorge Canizares Esguerra
25 Cochineal by Miruna Achim
26 Opossum by Jose Ramon Marcaida
27 Guinea Pig by Helen Cowie
28 Bezoar by Jose Pardo-Tomas
29 Cacao by Peter Mason
30 Strawberry by Elisa and Ana Sevilla
31 Volcano by Sophie Brockmann
32 Andes by Mark Thurner and Jorge Canizares-Esguerra
33 Anteater by Helen Cowie
34 Megatherium by Juan Pimentel
35 Tapir by Irina Podgorny
36 Cinchona by Matthew Crawford
37 Potato by Rebecca Earle
38 Guano by Gregory Cushman
39 Tortoise by Elizabeth Hennessey
40 Darwin’s Hummingbird by Iris Montero

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