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Exhibition: Red That Colored the World
Museum of Texas Tech University

September 16, 2018 - January 17, 2019

The color red, with its brilliant hue, has inspired artists' imaginations and seduced viewers for millennia. And we have a small insect to thank for this magical color.

The exhibition, The Red That Colored the World, combines new research and original scholarship to explore the history and widespread use in art of cochineal, an insect-based dye source for the color red whose origins and use date to the pre-Columbian Americas.

The exhibition translates the cochineal story into three dimensions, following the precious bug juice and its use in art from Mexico to Europe to the U.S. and beyond. The exhibition highlights more than 60 objects including textiles, sculpture, paintings, decorative arts and, clothing from the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, private lenders, and museums around the country. The exhibition explores the history of cochineal and the seductive visual nature of red. The objects reflect the unique international uses of color, revealing its role in the creative process, and the motivations of artists in their choice of materials.


Daniel Tyler