The Quest for Red: Trade and Experiment

© Michael Myers 2010

Warup [drum] (detail) ET84.173 © Michael Myers 2010.

Piracy, war, espionage, exploration and international intrigue are all brought into play at the Macleay Museum in this exhibition, which explores the ways humans have exploited pigments to make the colour red. The quest for red is the story of red’s influence in human history across the world.

The exhibition looks at red in three forms: mineral (ochre), animal (cochineal) and artificial (aniline). On display will be an enormous variety of items from the University’s collections, from those originating in ancient Cyprus to those from the modern-day Torres Strait Islands, from Chaucer to Spiderman and from Leeuwenhoek to Japanese lacquer work.


27 March to 30 January 2012