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Thursday, June 4, 2020

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Cochinilla Red 

Truly vibrant red was elusive for many years: until a mysterious dye was discovered in Mexico and how a crushed bug became a sign of wealth and status. Although scarlet is the colour of sin in the Old Testament, the ancient world’s elite was thirsty for red, a symbol of wealth and status. They spent fantastic sums searching for ever more vibrant hues, until Hernán Cortés and the conquistadors discovered an intoxicatingly saturated pigment in the great markets of Tenochtitlan, modern-day Mexico City. Made from the crushed-up cochineal insect, the mysterious dye launched Spain toward its eventual role as an economic superpower and became one of the New World’s primary exports, as a red craze descended on Europe. .

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 costa

Olga Costa was born in Leipzig, Germany in 1913, at the outset of World War I. Her parents, Jacobo Kostakowsky and Ana Falvisant Bovglarevokeylandel, were immigrants who had fled czarist Russia to escape persecution of the Jews. Costa and her younger sister Lya were raised in Berlin, where their father, a violinist and composer, exposed them to the arts at a young age. But after the end of the war, her family, along with many other Russians, fled Germany. In 1925 they set sail from the French port of Saint-Nazaire, arriving in Veracruz, Mexico later that year.

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 Ver Sacrum by Elena Luksch Makowsky

 Vienna was an intellectual powerhouse in the early 20th Century and two male artists are considered the giants of Viennese modernism: Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele. But Vienna's Belvedere Museum is now showcasing the long-neglected contribution of women artists in that period. City of Women displays works by about 60 female artists, covering the years 1900-1938. Some works had been hidden away in attics and storerooms gathering dust.  The City of Women exhibition runs at the Belvedere Museum in Vienna from January 25th to May 19, 2019.

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Daly_Jews1

Salvador Dali (1904-1989), born in Figueres, Spain, is best known for his highly imaginative, surrealistic work. In 1968, Dali created 25 colored lithographs taken from his mixed-media paintings to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. Salvador Dali's "Aliyah: The Rebirth of Israel" collection portrays the history of the Jewish people's return to their homeland.

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 naked leopold museum vienna austria

 For many, the tour of "Nude Men from 1800 to Today" — an exhibit of 300 paintings, photographs, drawings and sculptures focused on the bare male — was a goose-bump-raising instance of life imitating art. "I can't say I'm sweating," said office worker Herbert Korvas as he stood waiting in the atrium with other young men, wearing only socks, sneakers and a smile. Despite the cold, he said he was drawn to the idea of naked museum viewing "because it was something different."