Artwork Loans

The Red that Colored the World at the Bowers Museum

October 31, 2015

The Red that Colored the World exhibition travels to the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, CA and explores the global history and use in art of American cochineal, the producer of the color red. The exhibition includes James Cordova’s bulto, Santa Cristina de Bolsena, from the Carl & Marilynn Thoma collection.

From the Bowers Museum:

“Red, with its brilliant hue and broad cultural history, has inspired artists’ imaginations and seduced viewers for millennia. Artists and dyers for centuries strived to find the color source to rival the best reds of nature, and to express the spirit, symbolism and sustenance of life.

Their quest ended in the Aztec marketplace of 16th-century Mexico, where Spanish explorers encountered the American cochineal bug. The Red that Colored the World 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. Highlighting over 100 objects-textiles, sculpture, paintings, manuscripts, decorative arts, clothing and more- 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.

This exhibition was organized by the Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.”

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