About: Becca MacLaren

I'm history and engagement editor at Zócalo Public Square.

Posts by Becca

Posted in Art, Photographs, Film, and Video

Sculpted Photographs of the California Coast

Mussel Rocks, California / Laura Plageman
Courtesy of De Soto Gallery

You’ve never seen the California coast like this before. More»

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Posted in Architecture and Design, Art

Which Artist Would You Recommend to a Space Alien?

Malin House ("Chemosphere") / John Lautner
Malin House ("Chemosphere"), 1960, designed by John Lautner. Photo by Julius Shulman, 1961. Julius Shulman Photography Archive. The Getty Research Institute, 2004.R.10

A beginner’s guide to the human mind and heart. More»

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      ROSE

      This milky pink boomed into popularity because of a marketing ploy, a mistress, and its ambiguous origins.

      In an effort to compete with the renowned Meissen porcelain factory, the French Sèvres manufactory recruited the glamorous Madame de Pompadour (mistress to King Louis XV). Like a smart sponsorship deal, Sèvres gave her all the porcelain she requested. 

      Introduced in 1757, this rich pink exploded on the scene thanks to favoritism by Madame Pompadour herself. 

      The glaze itself had a weird history. To the Europeans it looked Chinese, and to the Chinese it was European. It was made based on a secret 17th-century glassmaker’s technique, involving mixing glass with flecks of gold.

      For more on colors and their often surprising histories, check out The Brilliant History of Color in Art.

      12/19/14

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