Guided Exhibition Tour: "Seeing Race Before Race"

Join us for a guided tour of "Seeing Race Before Race," where you'll explore the roots of race from the Middle Ages to 1800 with a trained docent.

Le miroir de humaine saluation, ca. 1455. Call number: VAULT folio Case MS 40

We'll meet in the Newberry lobby and then make our way into the galleries for a closer look at Seeing Race Before Race

About "Seeing Race Before Race"

Race is a powerful and challenging concept. When, where, and why did conceptions of race come into being? How might learning about its history help us better understand the complex role that race plays in our lives today?  

Centuries before the term race came into popular use, people around the world used distinctions like language, dress, class, geography, and religion—in addition to traits like skin color or facial features—to categorize each other. Seeing Race Before Race explores these early expressions of race in medieval and early modern Europe between 1100 and 1800.  

Seeing Race Before Race is generously supported by the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, and Pam and Doug Walter. 

You can purchase a copy of the exhibition catalog, Seeing Race Before Race: Visual Culture and the Racial Matrix in the Premodern Worldfrom the Newberry Bookshop.

Cost and Registration

This tour is free to attend. No advance registration required.

Tarih-i Yeni Dünya, el-musemma be hadis-i nev, a luxury manuscript (ca. 1600) of Ottoman Turkey

A Letter from a Merchant at Jamaica to a Member of Parliament in London (1709)

Map of lands in the Tultepec and Jaltocán regions adjacent to the Hacienda de Santa Inés (1659)

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