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After Columbus landed on Hispaniola in 1492, items from the Americas were shipped to Europe where they were perceived as exotic items of wonder and fascination.

The Medici collect the Americas

Thomas Cole, The Architect's Dream, 1840, oil on canvas, 134.7 x 213.6 cm (Toledo Museum of Art)
Far from being neutral, museum are deeply rooted in a thicket of political, sociological, and ideological histories.

6. Looking at Art Museums

Shōsōin Repository (photo: Roman SUZUKI, CC BY 3.0)
Shōsōin repository held nine thousand artifacts from China, Southeast Asia, Iran, and the Middle East—connecting ancient Japan to the cultural trade of the Eurasian continent.

The Shōsōin Repository and its treasure

View of the Courtyard of the Great Mosque of Damascus, photo: Eric Shin, CC BY-NC 2.0
Once a temple to Zeus, the Great Mosque of Damascus, has survived the Syrian Civil War, and stands as one of the world's most important historic structures.

The Great Mosque of Damascus