Cultures & History of the Americas
LocationJefferson Building, Library of Congress, Washington, DC
To celebrate the donation of the Jay I. Kislak Collection, the Cultures and History of the Americas exhibition featured fifty highlights from the more than 4,000 rare books, maps, documents, paintings, prints, and artifacts that make up the Jay I. Kislak Collection at the Library of Congress. Like the collection itself, the exhibition focuses on the early Americas from the time of the indigenous people of Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean through the period of European contact, exploration, and settlement. Media in the exhibition includes a 3-minute introductory video and an interactive that highlights a Mayan artifact.
Press & Awards“Two New Shows Cast Light and Darkness on Early Cultures in the Americas,” The New York Times, Edward Rothstein, March 5, 2008
There are also touch screens with narrations and images, along with displays of exceptional documents, including the only known copy of a famous 1507 map: the first to show the New World’s continents and the first on which the name America appears.“Exploring the Early Americas’: A Sense of Continent’s Direction,” Washington Post, Cathryn Keller, December 26, 2007
Turn to the adjacent interactive monitor to rotate a beautifully detailed image of the vase, which you can enlarge and move around with a touch of the finger...Eight mural-size paintings, called ‘The Conquest of Mexico,’ depict Hernán Cortés’s 1519–1522 mission of subjugation. Created by an unknown artist in the last quarter of the 17th century, the paintings glorify the Spanish empire. They include detailed sub-scenes set into the large drama, like sidebars telling the back story—just as the accompanying interactive displays illuminate the events and characters portrayed in the work.
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