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Circa 1492: Art in the Age of Exploration

Edited by Jay A. Levenson
Published 1991
672 pages

Marking the 500th anniversary of the meeting of worlds that took place at the end of the 15th century, Circa 1492 reflects on this watershed moment, one that has been called “the most significant secular event in human history.” Informed by the lasting perspective of art and cultural achievement, this exhibition catalog assesses what we have loosely termed the “Age of Exploration.” Including more than 600 paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, maps, scientific instruments, and works of decorative art from four continents—most of them created during the late 15th or early 16th century—the exhibition provides a broad, thematic survey through space rather than chronologically through time. The juxtapositions presented generate a new, keener understanding, both intellectually and affectively, of this historic era that resulted in links among continents that forever changed the character of the relationships between the world’s cultures.

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