“‘Delirious New Amsterdam’: Art, Material Culture, and Circulation in New York and the Colonial Atlantic World” at Terra Foundation Paris Center & Library

March 17, 2016
Terra Foundation Paris Center & Library

Before New York became New York City, it was a trading post run by the Dutch, a hub of mercantile exchange and the largest settlement in New Holland, which extended from present-day New England to the Mid-Atlantic. In the absence of art galleries, academies, and courts, the borders between art, science, and commerce were more fluid than today, and the material culture of New Amsterdam reflects the complex channels of circulation in ideas, images, print material, and goods crossing the Atlantic Ocean in those first two centuries of exploration.


  • Sarah Monks, Lecturer in European Art History, School of Art, Media and American Studies, University of East Anglia
  • Christopher Heuer, Associate Director, Research and Academic Program, The Clark Art Institute

Sarah Monks, a specialist in British art, grounds the discussion in the concept of the Atlantic World, a wide geographical and cultural space composed of numerous nations and motivations. Christopher Heuer speaks about New Amsterdam as a city, making reference to the earliest maps and drawings of the city, and demonstrating disconnects between the planned form, the represented appearance, and the actual layout of the city that are, he argues, specifically Dutch.

“Delirious New Amsterdam” is the second event in the conference series “Holland-America: A Transatlantic Dialogue, from 1609 to Today,” organized and hosted by the Terra Foundation Paris Center & Library in spring 2016.

Videography by Romain Grésillon.