THE RED THAT COLORED THE WORLD
OCTOBER 31, 2015-MARCH 20, 2016
THIS MONUMENTAL TRAVELING EXHIBITION EXAMINES THE IMPACT OF RED COCHINEAL BUG ON ART, SCIENCE, FASHION, HISTORY, AND WORLD ECONOMICS.
IT FEATURES ARTIFACTS FROM PRESTIGIOUS MUSEUMS AND COLLECTIONS.
Santa Ana, CA — Bowers Museum in Santa Ana is pleased to announce the presentation of The Red That Colored the World, a monumental exhibition organized by the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe.
The exhibition is on display at the Bowers Museum October 31, 2015 through March 20, 2016, and tells the extraordinary story of the cochineal bug, which had been in use for centuries in the Americas before it was discovered in 16th-century Mexico by Hernán Cortés and other Spanish conquistadores. The bug’s juice was found to create a red dye unparalleled by any other in nature, thus changing art, science, fashion, and history forever.
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, and made possible by the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities and circulating through GuestCurator Traveling Exhibitions.