Discovering the Americas in Renaissance Italy

28 November 5:30 pm-7:00 pm: The NBM Presents Turning Tides: Young Adult speaker series featuring Katie Buckley. Free event.

The Italian peninsula was the site of much knowledge and visual evidence of the Indigenous cultures of Central and South America during the Renaissance. The Medici family in particular was responsible for the collection and display of many Indigenous cultural artefacts during the 16th and 17th centuries including feather cloaks, carved stones and minerals, original illustrated manuscripts, and even live animals.

The presence of the Americas at the Medici court was not limited to the collection and display of artefacts; Italians dressed as Indigenous people were present at Grand Ducal wedding celebrations (in America), Medici court artists depicted Aztec warriors, created allegories of the Americas, represented plants and animals from the Americas, and the Medici family even funded an expedition to Brazil in 1608.

This presentation will highlight some of the most interesting representations of the Americas and the most fascinating Indigenous cultural artefacts from Central and South America that were present in the Medici collection, many of which can still be found in Florentine museums today.


  • November 28, 2019 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
  • 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm