The First American Coloring Books: Theodore de Bry’s “Illustrated America,” 1590–1602

Lunchtime Lectures
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.
Science History Institute
315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
United States

Join us for a Lunchtime Lecture by Philadelphia historian Larry E. Tise.

Larry E. Tise will discuss his new brilliantly colored book Theodore de Bry—America: The Complete Plates, 1590–1602, published in May 2019 by the noted art publishing firm Taschen. During more than 12 years of detective work across Europe and the United States, Tise examined every known and accessible hand-colored copy of the Frankfurt engraver’s epochal Grand Voyages, which chronicles de Bry’s journeys to the Americas. Tise will describe his research and the indelible impact of de Bry’s widely circulated copperplate engravings on our perception of indigenous peoples across the Americas from the 16th century to the present.

Larry E. Tise

Larry E. Tise headshot

Larry E. Tise.

Jean Brubaker

About the Speaker

Larry E. Tise, a native of North Carolina, became director of North Carolina’s Division of Archives and History in 1975, executive director of Pennsylvania’s Historical and Museum Commission in 1981, and executive director of the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial of the Franklin Institute in 1989. Since 1997 he has been a private-practice historian in Philadelphia and from 2000 to 2015 the Wilbur and Orville Wright Distinguished Professor of History at East Carolina University.

Tise’s research on hand-colored de Bry engravings has informed his current book project, The Meaning of Color in America. His previous books have focused on race and slavery in the United States, Benjamin Franklin, the Wright brothers, and the history of North Carolina. His research on race and color has been facilitated with fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the John Carter Brown Library. Tise has been an associate of the McNeil Center at the University of Pennsylvania since 1989 and was a faculty fellow at NASA Langley Research Center from 2000 to 2003.

Tise holds undergraduate and divinity degrees from Duke University and received his PhD from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

About the Series

Lunchtime Lectures are a series of (mostly) weekly, informal talks on the history of chemistry or related subjects, including the history and social studies of science, technology, and medicine. Based on original research (sometimes still in progress), these talks are given by local scholars for an audience of the Institute staff and fellows and interested members of the public.