Texas Tech University

Museum of Texas Tech University Announces Fall Exhibitions

Amanda Castro-Crist

August 16, 2018


Several exhibitions will focus on the color red and feature research conducted and curated by Red Raiders.

The Museum of Texas Tech University will open its fall 2018 season this week with a new exhibition, “Pre-Modern Bibles: From the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Complutensian Polyglot Bible.” The exhibition, which will run from Aug. 18-March 3, 2019, is believed to be the largest collection of original and facsimile biblical manuscripts ever assembled in West Texas.

The exhibition, curated by Texas Tech history professor John Howe and art professor Janis Elliot, focuses on the art and history of how the Bible developed until the invention of the printing press. It illustrates the evolution of the physical Bible, the development of scholarly methods of biblical analysis and the refinement of multiple ways to convey biblical learning, often to people of limited literacy.

Visitors to the museum in September should get ready to see red, and lots of it. “The Red That Colored the World” and two companion exhibitions, “Ladies in Red” and “Red, Hot & Quilted,” combine new research and original scholarship to explore the history and widespread use in art of cochineal, an insect-based dye source for the color red with origins and usage dating to the pre-Columbian Americas.

“This insect truly provided the riches Spain sought from the New World,” said Marian Ann J. Montgomery, curator of clothing and textiles at the Museum of Texas Tech. “The red cochineal dye was the brightest and most colorfast of anything available in the world at the time. The desire for this color made Spain rich with its monopoly on the dye until the Dutch invented the microscope and could see that the color came from insects.”

The main exhibition runs from Sept. 17-Jan. 17, 2019, highlighting more than 60 textiles, sculpture, paintings, decorative arts and clothing from the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, private lenders and museums around the country. 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.

“The Red program spans biology, history, culture, art and fashion,” said Gary Morgan, museum executive director. “The three exhibitions complement each other beautifully. This is a program that has something of interest for everyone – and especially for Red Raiders who have a particular passion for the color.”

“Ladies in Red,” running from Sept. 11-Feb. 3, 2019, features a range of clothing, from cheerleader uniforms to designer gowns. Among the items are a red gown designed by Arnold Scaasi and worn by former first lady Laura Bush, the red suit worn by former Lady Raider coach Marsha Sharp during the NCAA Basketball Championship and clothing from Lubbock trendsetters like Margaret Talkington and Louise Underwood.

“Red, Hot & Quilted,” running from Sept. 25-Jan. 17, 2019, includes work from the Caprock Art Quilters that reflects personal life experiences and family commemorations. Inspired by the main exhibition theme, the quilts are examples of fine art created in the textile medium.

Several events will take place throughout the fall semester, including from 6-8 p.m. on Sept. 21, when the museum will host “Cool Salsa and Hot Music,” the latest installment of the monthly series, Museum by Night. The event will feature instructor Alfonso Sanchez and his students in the Department of Hospitality & Retail Management, who will talk about the ingredients needed to make great salsa. The event will feature salsa making, tasting and music. Charles Olivier and the Texas Tech Tango Orchestra will provide music. The Artist Printmaker/Photographer Research Collection will be open featuring the work of Ricardo Vicente Jose Ruiz.

Two other exhibitions will open later this fall. “Why Frogs Don't Get Fat: Predators, Fear and Feeding in the Wild” runs from Oct. 21-Feb. 4, 2019, and features the work of James Carr and Breanna N. Harris, Texas Tech professors and biologists. Their research on fear is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Also in October, “The American Qur'an” will feature selected works by painter Sandow Birk, who hand-transcribed and illustrated every verse of the holy book of Islam using the calligraphy of the individual verses to frame scenes of contemporary American life.

For a full list of museum events and exhibitions, visit the website.

About The Red That Colored the World

“The Red That Colored the World,” organized by the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and circulating through GuestCurator Traveling Exhibitions, has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence. “The Red That Colored the World” and the “Ladies in Red” exhibitions are funded in part by the Helen Jones Foundation, Inc., the CH Foundation, and the Museum of Texas Tech University Association.