About: Kim N. Richter

I'm a research specialist at the Getty Research Institute, a scholar of Pre-Columbian art history, and co-curator of the exhibition Connecting Seas: A Visual History of Discoveries and Encounters. I have also studied Classical and Modern Nahuatl and Teenek (a Mayan language from northeastern Mexico).

Posts by Kim

Posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute, Voices

Encounters with Indigenous Mexico | Getty Voices

The Zocalo, Mexico City / Cartas de relacion
The Zócalo, Mexico City's main square, depicted soon after the Spanish Conquest. Detail from Tenochtitlan, woodcut in Hernán Cortés, Cartas de relación (Nuremberg, 1524). The Getty Research Institute, 93-B9631

“There is so much to think over that I do not know how to describe it, seeing things as we did that had never been heard of or seen before, not even dreamed about.” 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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