Smithsonian Exhibit: Encompassing the Globe

A fascinating exhibit about the golden age of discovery opened this week at the Smithsonian’s Sackler Gallery. Encompassing the Globe: Portugal and the World in the 16th and 17th Centuries is the largest exhibit in the Sackler Gallery’s 19-year history. The exhibit runs through mid-September in Washington D.C.

If you can’t make a visit, at least check out their website, which features a slick flash-enhanced overview of the exhibit. Beginning with background about the roots of Portuguese exploration, the exhibit continues with sections on the Indian Ocean, Africa, China, Japan and Brazil. There are some cool things you can do with Google Earth too. The Washington Post has an online photo gallery of over 15 works from the show, which also features objects from Oman, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. The exhibit focuses on the cultural exchanges that took place between the Portuguese explorers during their travels, highlighting masterpieces of art that were traded and collected during these journeys.