Maluche – Exploring the Early Dynamic Routes of Trade:
A Sail Along the Original Information Highway Par Excellance
In 1501, the Florentine explorer and navigator, Amerigo Vespucci (1454 –1512), mentions ‘Maluche’ in a letter he penned to the famed Lorenzo De Medici. “Maluche”or the Malaku Islands – also called the Moluccas, Melisa, Moluccas Islands or perhaps more commonly known as ‘the Spice Islands’ by the Europeans and Chinese – form an Indonesian archipelago and most importantly for our series, play a central role in the early exchange and dissemination of vast amounts of cultural information.
What we know today of this region’s importance and of the overall significance of early maritime trade, arrive to us in the form of maritime chronicles and letters that date back to the 1300’s-1500’s and beyond, and give the reader a good account of the high degree of cultural exchange and discovery during the dawn of the Renaissance. But letters are just one type of relic or example of this type of exchange and discovery: wheras in art lies another.
The Maluche series will thus focus on the many variegated routes of discovery originating from the Far East, the Near East and Europe as well as each region’s transmission of cultural motifs along the way. The impact of these motifs on a given regions art and society as they come into contact with one another, creating a unique and dynamic art based narrative, will be of primary importance.
Katherine is the host of the Mystic Pen Series. She holds an undergraduate degree from Berklee College of Music and a graduate degree from Harvard University. Her research interests are focused on both the significance and the impact of the aural and visual in cultures and societies around the world (as told through art and music) along with the nature of artistic creation itself. Her area of specialty is the transmission of Near Eastern motifs in Italian art.
ALL ARTICLES BY KATHERINE SCHIMMEL
ART – PHOTOGRAPHY
ASSONITIS – The Medici Archive Project: Alessio Assonitis, A Monument of Letters (1537-1743)
CARR – From the Heartland: Up Close and Personal With Visionary Robert O. Carr, Founder and CEO of Heartland Payment Systems
CHARBONNEAU – A Cruise along the Inside Track:: With Le Mobile’s Sound Recording Legend Guy Charbonneau
ESOSITO – The Forgotten Children of Abraham: Islamic Scholar John L. Esposito Talks about Faith, Pluralism, and the Challenges Facing Islam Today