The Power of Color: Polychromy and pigments in ancient Mediterranean and Latin American art 
February 2, 2018

An understanding and appreciation of color is fundamental to art history, and yet our experience of color in the world around us is broadly subjective. Tracing the use and perception of color in past cultures can be even more elusive. However, recent research has taken diverse approaches—from investigating the manufacture of pigments to considering literary descriptions of the workings of the eye—illuminating ancient artworks with dramatic results. The Colloquium considers the power of color in both the ancient Mediterranean and early Latin America.


Dr. Diana Magaloni, director of the Program for Art of the Ancient Americas, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Dr. Jennifer Stager, art historian and curator


Assistant Professor John Lopez, UC Davis, art history

Assistant Professor Alexandra Sofroniew, UC Davis, art history

Friday, February 2, 2018
4:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Community Education Room, Manetti Shrem Museum

Dr. Diana Magaloni is a renowned art historian, author and conservator. Her studies were conducted at the National Institute of Anthropology and History specializing in restoration and mural painting. Dr. Magaloni earned her graduate degrees in art history from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and Yale University. Her research has focused on the study of Mesoamerican and indigenous pictorial techniques in the 16th century. She has written extensively about pre-Hispanic mural art and the Florentine Codex. Dr. Magaloni served as Director of the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City and is now Deputy Director and Director of the Program for the Art of the Ancient Americas at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Dr Jennifer Stager’s childhood experiences on an archaeological dig in the Middle East honed her interest in the stories we tell about material remains. She received her Ph.D. in the history of art from UC Berkeley in 2012. Her achievements include fellowships from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts and the Getty Research Institute and extensive travel. Stager’s primary area of research is ancient Mediterranean art in its global context. Since returning home to San Francisco in Fall 2013, she has focused on writing, teaching, curating, and creating alternative spaces for art. 

Read more about this year’s colloquium in the College of Letters and Science’s News and Events.

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