New Book | New World Objects of Knowledge

Posted in books by Editor on July 16, 2022

Distributed by The University of Chicago Press:

Mark Thurner and Juan Pimentel, eds., New World Objects of Knowledge: A Cabinet of Curiosities (London: University of London Press, 2021), 350 pages, ISBN: 978-1908857828, $75.

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.

Mark Thurner is professor of Latin American studies at the University of London. His books include The First Wave of Decolonization and History’s Peru: The Poetics of Colonial and Postcolonial Historiography. Juan Pimentel is research professor in the history of science at the Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales, CSIC, Madrid. He is the author of many books, including The Rhinoceros and the Megatherium: An Essay in Natural History.


Introduction by Mark Thurner and Juan Pimentel

Part 1: Artificialia

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

Part 2: Naturalia

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

José Ignacio de Lequanda and Louis Thiébaut, Quadro de Historia Natural, Civil y Geográfica del Reyno del Perú, 1799, 331 × 119 cm (Madrid: Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales). This exceptional work presents 195 scenes and 381 figures describing the physical geography, the history, the ethnography, the fauna, and flora of the Peruvian Viceroyalty, via Google Arts & Culture.


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