This exhibition highlights prints made by the Franco-Flemish engraver Theodor de Bry (1528-1598) to illustrate the 1590 edition of A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia by Thomas Harriot. De Bry’s images and Harriot’s text offered Europeans a detailed account of the appearance and customs of Native Americans encountered by the British settlers on Roanoke Island, off the coast of what is now North Carolina, in 1585. Published in four languages and widely distributed, the book and its illustrations gave Europeans their first—and lasting—impressions of Native Americans.
Over 40 compelling engravings, some hand-colored and from various editions of the book, will be supplemented in the exhibition by related materials from two other University collections: the North Carolina Collection in the Wilson Special Collections Library and the North Carolina Archaeological Collection in the Research Laboratories of Archaeology.
The engravings and other printed matter, intended gifts to the Ackland, have been generously lent by Michael N. Joyner (UNC-Chapel Hill ’77).
Divided into three sections, “The New Found Land” includes portraits, maps, and other materials related to the so-called “Age of Exploration” 400 years ago; the illustrations for Harriot’s book; and a selection of Native American artifacts from societies close in time, place, or lifeway to those encountered by the Roanoke settlers, thereby balancing the European (and Europeanizing) view with examples of indigenous cultural production.
Also included in “The New Found Land” is the slideshow Picturing the New World: The Hand-Colored de Bry Engravings of 1590, featuring digital images from a rare hand-colored edition of A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia in the North Carolina Collection at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in addition to a presentation of the video From Paper to Copper: The Engraver’s Process.
Images of works lent to the exhibition by Michael N. Joyner:
Theodor de Bry, Franco-Flemish, 1528-1598, engraver; John White, English, active in America, c. 1540 – c. 1593-1606, designer:
An aged Man in his Winter Garment (detail), plate 9 from Thomas Harriot’s A Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia, published 1590; engraving with later hand coloring.
A Weroan or great Lord of Virginia (detail), plate 3 from Thomas Harriot’s A Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia, published 1590; engraving.
Arnoldus Montanus, Dutch, c. 1625-1683, Map of Florida and Virginia, 1671, engraving with hand-coloring.