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Color Charts: A History

A beautifully illustrated history of the many inventive, poetic, and alluring ways in which color swatches have been selected and staged.

The need to categorize and communicate color has mobilized practitioners and scholars for centuries. Color Charts describes the many different methods and ingenious devices developed since the fifteenth century by doctors, naturalists, dyers, and painters to catalog fragments of colors. With the advent of industrial society, manufacturers and merchants developed some of the most beautiful and varied tools ever designed to present all the available colors. Thanks to them, society has discovered the abundance of color embodied in a plethora of materials: cuts of fabric, leather, paper, and rubber; slats of wood and linoleum; delicate skeins of silk; careful deposits of paint and pastels; fragments of lipstick; and arrangements of flower petals. These samples shape a visual culture and a chromatic vocabulary and instill a deep desire for color. Hardcover, 284 pages.

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