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Reference book for historic color in design?

Posted by kitchendetective (My Page) on
Fri, Nov 30, 12 at 14:29

Do you know of a reference that discusses the history of color in design, especially in Europe and North America. For example, when was arsenic used as a pigment and where? Or, what pigments and colors were used when the mirror hall at Versailles was originally completed? Or, what color would the walls have been in a 19th century adobe in Temecula?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Reference book for historic color in design?

I don't think you will find this in one book. It's an interesting topic, but I am not sure there is one that is so comprehensive.


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RE: Reference book for historic color in design?

You will find a lot of interesting information regarding historical paint, colors, palettes, formulas in various books by Jocasta Innes, such as "Applied Artistry" and "Scandinavian Painted Decor". The Farrow and Ball "Paint" book also has some good historical information.


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RE: Reference book for historic color in design?

I've spent alot of time looking for something like that focused on the victorian period, and as Pal mentions, you get bits and pieces but all in one place....I haven't seen it yet :(


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RE: Reference book for historic color in design?

Thanks, Annie. I've actually read all of those. Also some fascinating narratives about mauve, indigo, and red. My family actually kids me about that, that and watching paint dry. Just wondered if anyone knew of a more comprehensive resource, as opposed to the works one has to mine for pertinent info.


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RE: Reference book for historic color in design?

Your best bet is Google books, and look for reference books used by painters and builders of various eras.

Also check old encyclopedias, which you can also find online. They often give details about the pigments.

I briefly had a book from the 1700s with all kinds of pigment and paint recipes for craftsmen and artists. But it was in German and I needed money. So I sold it.


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RE: Reference book for historic color in design?

Try searching architectural conservation and add the word paint then American or European.

When I searched using those terms, these came up:

Paint in America: The Colors of Historic Buildings
Roger W Moss

Paint Research in Building Conservation
edited by Line Bregnh�i, Helen Hughes, Jenni Lindbom, Tone Olstad,and Edwin Verweij

Here is a link that might be useful: Yahoo search historical paint


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RE: Reference book for historic color in design?

Reference book for historic color in design?

It is not a book. However, the best resource I have ever come across on this topic is Bart Swindall.

. . . a.k.a. MAGNAVERDE

Here is a link that might be useful: Chicago Auditorium Theatre


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RE: Reference book for historic color in design?

Thank you, all. Deedee, I'm looking into sources for two of these.

This post was edited by kitchendetective on Thu, Dec 6, 12 at 22:53


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RE: Reference book for historic color in design?

I just ran across a mention of "Color: A Natural History of the Palette" by Victoria Finlay. It might be what you are looking for.


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RE: Reference book for historic color in design?

Thank you! Will check it out.


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