Museum of International Folk Art
Santa Fe, New Mexico
17 May – 13 September 2015
Bowers Museum (Santa Ana, California)
From 31 October 2015
(Photo: Sewing box with cover with cochineal dyed wool yarn -detail). Box, Patzcuaro, Michoacan, Mexico, late 18th century. Wood, paint, metal, gold leaf, 4 3/4 x 17 5/16 x 5 inches. IFAF Collection, Courtesy of the Museum of International Folk Art, Photo, Addison Doty)
From Antiquity to today, as symbol and hue, red has risen to the pinnacle of the color spectrum. Throughout art history, a broad red brushstroke has colored the finest art and expressions of daily life. Yet, while most people know red, few know of its most prolific and enduring source: American Cochineal, a tiny scaled insect that produces carminic acid. Fewer still know the story behind its explosive global spread after its first encounter by Spain in 16th
Accompanying publication: A Red Like No Other: How Cochineal Colored the World.