Harris Community Auditorium
Textile scholar, Dr. Elena Phipps, will discuss the origin of the insect red colorant cochineal, its early use in Precolumbian ritual and textiles from Mexico and Peru, and trace the spread of the American dyestuff through global interchange following the Spanish arrival to the New World in the 16th century. Drawing on examples including Precolumbian textiles, European tapestries and Chinese hangings, as well as paintings by Rembrandt and Van Gogh — the lecture presents the result of art historical and scientific research that documents the use of this red-colored treasure throughout the world.
About the Speaker:
Phipps (Ph.D., Columbia University) was a senior museum conservator for over 34 years at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, (1977- 2010) and Past- President of the Textile Society of America (2010-2014). She was co-curator of a major exhibition of colonial art of Latin America at the MMA in 2004 and co-author of its catalogue The Colonial Andes: Tapestries and Silverwork 1430-1830, awarded both the Alfred Barr Jr. Award for best exhibition catalogue 2004-2005 from the College Art Association, and the Mitchell Prize, in 2006. Recently, she was a co-curator of The Interwoven Globe: worldwide textile trade 1500-1800 an exhibition at the MMA in 2013, and a contributing author to the catalogue, including an essay entitled “Global Colors: dyes and the dye trade, 16th-18th century.” She is currently teaching textile history in the Department of World Arts and Culture at UCLA.
Image credit: Arlene Sena,Altar Screen Triptych, Wood, gesso, paint, gold leaf, metal. Collection of the Museum of International Folk Art FA.2005.44.11. Photograph by Blair Clark.