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The Red That Colored the World


Discover the history and widespread use in art of cochineal, an insect-based dye source for the seductive color red whose origins and use date to the pre-Columbian Americas. Textiles, sculpture, manuscripts, paintings, decorative arts, clothing and more vividly bring to life an epic story of empire and desire that pushed art, culture, and trade to the edge of the unknown. 


The Red That Colored the World is accompanied by a hands-on science area where kids and adults alike can peer at the tiny cochineal bug through a microscope, watch a video of the dying process, try on red clothing, and more. 


The Red That Colored the World has been organized by the Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe, NM with funding in part provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and is circulating through GuestCurator Traveling Exhibitions.


The Red That Colored the World is presented by:



Additional support is provided by:

Lamar Advertisting

The Charles Lamar Family Foundation

Moo & Martin Svendson

The Cary Saurage Fund in Honor of Alma Lee and H.N. Saurage Jr.