Object Timeline

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2019

2021

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Wallpaper, Movements, 2019

This is a Wallpaper. It was designed by Gloria Cortina. It is dated 2019. Its medium is cochineal pigment, board, nails, and cotton string. It is a part of the department.

In 1523, following the fall of the Aztec Empire, conquistador Hernán Cortés reported to the King of Spain Charles V about a red dye that could benefit the Spanish textile industry. It did not take long for Europeans to recognize American cochineal’s ability to produce a remarkable range of reds for wool, silk, and other luxury-based textiles. This hand-painted wallpaper installation illustrates the international economy of an insect, which, after silver, became one of the most valuable Spanish exports from the Americas. The abstracted world map shows how cochineal traveled the globe as a result of the colonization of the Americas, prompting the exploitation of not only natural resources, but of indigenous labor forces that oversaw the cultivation of this insect in mass.

This object was donated by Gloria Cortina. It is credited Courtesy of Gloria Cortina and Holland and Sherry.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-4.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/2318793740/ |title=Wallpaper, Movements, 2019 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=8 December 2021 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>