Texas Tech University

The Psychology of Red

6-8 p.m.
October 12
Helen DeVitt Jones Auditorium and Sculpture Court
Free admission and parking

Red is the color of power and passion. It is a color that says "look at me." Red, with its brilliant hue, has inspired artists' imaginations and seduced viewers for millennia. The Psychology of Red program is in conjunction with the exhibition, The Red that Colored the World on display through Jan. 17, 2019 at the Museum.

Speakers will each give interesting talks that broadly cover the science of the color red and how it influences our perceptions, cognitions, moods, and behaviors.


  • Red with Purpose: Designing for Inclusion by Kristi Gaines, associate dean, Texas Tech Graduate School and associate professor in the Department of Design
  • Neuroscience of the Color Red by Miranda Scolari, assistant professor, Department of Psychological Sciences
  • The Color Red: Implications for Aesthetics, Cognition, and Social Interaction by Philip Marshall, professor, Department of Psychological Sciences

Free wine and hors d'oeuvres will be available

RSVP to Bethany Cheshire at bethany.cheshire@ttu.edu or (806) 834-2844.

The exhibition, The Red That Colored the World, combines new research and original scholarship to explore the history and widespread use in art of cochineal, an insect-based dye source for the color red whose origins and use date to the pre-Columbian Americas.

Artists and dyers for centuries strived to find a color source to rival the best reds of nature and to express the spirit, symbolism, and sustenance of life. Their quest ended in the Aztec marketplaces of 16th-century Mexico, where Spanish explorers encountered the American cochineal bug. The bug created an unparalleled range of reds with strong economic value. Its ensuing global spread launched an epic story of empire and desire that pushed art, culture, and trade to the edge of the unknown.

Along with The Red That Colored the World, the Museum draws upon its excellent clothing and textiles collection, the Bush Library and private individuals for the exhibition Ladies in Red. From a dress worn by former first lady Laura Bush to Texas Tech cheerleader uniforms, this exhibition shows how red features prominently in a range of clothing from high fashion to school spirit. A third red-themed exhibition comes from the Caprock Art Quilters who challenged themselves to create quilts around the color red. The results are on view in the Red, Hot & Quiltedexhibition.

This event is made possible by the generous support of The Helen Jones Foundation, Inc.