in Wall Street Journal 21.08.2007
in University of Massachusetts Dartmouth 23.06.2007
in O Jornal 22.06.2007
in Mundo Português 20.06.2007
The exhibition brings together over three hundred extraordinary works of art that explore the unity and diversity of the cultures that contributed to Portugal’s trading empire. The individual sections focus on Portugal, Africa, Brazil, the Indian Ocean, China and Japan to create a wide-ranging and unforgettable image of Portugal’s great age of discovery.
The Portuguese voyages brought about a dramatic revolution in communications. Portugal’s contacts with the venerable kingdoms and empires of Africa and Asia, and later with the vast expanse of Brazil, led to unprecedented examples of cultural exchange, including the creation of strikingly beautiful and highly original works of art. Some of those objects, like the intricate ivory saltcellars produced by master carvers in Africa, were designed specifically for trade with Portuguese; others, like the intriguing Namban screens and lacquers of Japan that depict the European visitors from an Asian perspective, appealed to local patrons. Centuries ago, a number of those works entered princely “cabinets of wonder”, where they remained, while the rest were scattered in collections throughout the world. Assembled for the exhibition, they provide an unforgettable image of a new world during its formation. The show will locate these remarkable objects in the cultural and artistic contexts in which they originated and investigate their many-layered meanings.
In addition, a film linked to the exhibition will give the project international outreach through television broadcast in several languages, as will a multimedia program that will be designed for educational audiences through the world.
The world’s oceans split the seaborne Portuguese empire into two great spheres: one encircling the Atlantic and the other leading from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific. The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery will house the sections of the exhibition dealing with Portugal, the Indian Ocean, China, Japan, and Brazil, while the part focusing on West and Central Africa will be displayed in the adjacent space of the National Museum of African Art.
From June 24 - September 16, 2007 - Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
More Information at Smithsonian WebSite.