Historic City News readers will enjoy free admission to experience The New World in the Eyes of Explorers exhibition; open today through January 5th, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily at the Visitor Information Center located at 10 West Castillo Drive in St. Augustine.
The exhibition, on loan from The Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach, includes 70 objects such as framed original watercolors, prints, maps and engravings of various sizes as well as authentic conquistador artifacts.
“The New World in the Eyes of Explorers exhibition is fascinating in that it allows us to see the creative and imaginary minds of those centuries ago,” said Dana Ste. Claire, director of the St Augustine 450th Commemoration. “It’s interesting to learn about how the New World was initially portrayed to the Old World. It’s an exhibition worth seeing.”
When European explorers landed in the New World, they not only found unspoiled lands with abundant resources, but they also encountered people with a different culture and way of life.
This information made its way back to Europe in both the written word and illustrations, but the news was not always accurate. The human race has always enjoyed embellishment and fantasy, even back in the 16th century.
Many of the illustrations created during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries included incredible creatures and wild people living on vast land overflowing with unlimited riches. They were created by artists like Jacques le Moyne and John White primarily to satisfy the Europeans who craved fantasy and exaggeration.