Across Three Oceans: Shipwrecks as Early Moden Globalism

Ramon de Santiago : Art History and Art Practice

Mentor: Lisa Trever, Art History

Objects in museums are typically categorized by chronology and geography and then further sorted into subcategories revolving around cultures, languages, and materials. Born of the legacies of imperialism and colonialism, these practices tend towards a flattening of categories and the fixing of objects into rigid structures of European and “Other.” But what do we do with an object that inhabits multiple chronologies, geographies, and cultures? Art objects and artifacts possess a fluidity and mobility throughout multiple categories, often occupying multiple positions and materialities simultaneously. Using Byron Hamann’s methodology of “materialities of seeing,” and Eva Hoffman’s “pathways of portability,” Ramón will consider the carved-ivory box recovered from a 17th century shipwreck of the Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha as it emblematizes early modern global flows of materials, people and ideas.