This book is all shades of interesting
Loving this book by Kassia St. Clair. I was originally intrigued by after listening to the podcast by 99% Invisible: https://play.google.com/music/m/Dprkes2cosbnkpqfzvxcggwvpzi?t=340_The_Secret_Liv...
Easily my favorite read so far this year!
Roman Mars recently had author Kassia St Clair on his podcast to talk about colour. It‘s a delightful interview and you can listen here: https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/the-secret-lives-of-color/
I have to be honest and say I picked up this book because it looked so beautiful. Who says you shouldn‘t judge a book by its cover? 😉 I have then been enthralled by it. In it the author discusses the history, chemistry, societal effect, toxicity, manufacture, and individual examples of the use of over 70 colours divided into groups of whites, yellows, oranges, reds and so on. It sounds dry but she writes with such contagious interest - I loved it
#bellesbookishnewyear19 Day 19: “Book and fairy lights 🧚♂️🧚🏼♀️”
Well I don‘t have any fairy lights, so twinkle ones it is!
I recently got this book, “the secret lives of color.” It tells you the origin for all the colors! It is amazing and beautiful. 🥰
#writersofinstagram #reader #readersofinstagram #readers #twinklelights #thesecretlivesofcolour #authorsofinstagram #writersofinstagram
Such a brilliantly designed book! Lovely, quiet, intriguing history of selected 75 colors. Perfect for dipping into and savoring a color at a time; but bet you can‘t stop at one unless you have immense willpower. So fascinating. A guilty and rare pleasure is going to this incredible pigment store: https://pigment.tokyo/article/detail?id=1 Now I have something to to enjoy at home!
Estate inventories show that in 1700, 33% of nobles‘ & 44% of officers‘ clothing was black; it was popular with domestics too, making up 29% of their wardrobes. At times the streets must have resembled Rembrandt‘s paintings Sampling Officials (1662) [above, from Internet] or Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp (1632): crowds of identikit black-clad folk jostling for space.
Allusions to heliotrope also crop up in the works of JK Rowling, DH Lawrence, PG Wodehouse, James Joyce and Joseph Conrad. The word is pleasurable to say, filling the mouth like a rich, buttery sauce. Added to which, the colour itself is intriguing: antiquated, unusual and just a little bit brassy.
The deliciously immoral anti-heroine of Oscar Wilde‘s An Ideal Husband, Mrs Cheveley, makes her entrance in heliotrope and diamonds before swashbuckling her way through the remainder of the play and commandeering all the best lines.
I like what Simon Garfield said about this: “A mind-expanding tour of the world without leaving your paintbox.” It was fun to dip in and out of these short essays in between reading other things. Bonus #1: a fresh supply of amazing trivia to share with my friends. Bonus #2: this very cool cover with cut-out dots that reveal colours underneath. (Do you see how they cleverly match the words in the text?)
Perhaps the final word on the irrational dislike of green should go to Wassily Kandinsky: ‘Absolute green is the most anesthetising colour possible … similar to a fat cow, full of good health, lying down, rooted, capable only of ruminating and contemplating the world through its stupid, inexpressive eyes.‘
[Yikes! And who says a cow‘s eyes are inexpressive??]
In 2010, French researchers analyzing the traces of powder found in kohl pots discovered that they also contained man-made chemicals, including two kinds of lead chlorides that would have taken around a month to brew. Mystified, they conducted further tests. These chemicals were found to stimulate the skin around the eye to produce around 240% more nitric oxide than usual, significantly reducing the risk of eye infections.
Neil Munro Roger, the dandy couturier who invented Capri pants and was known by his childhood nickname of Bunny, was partial to what he liked to call ‘menopausal mauve.‘ To celebrate his 70th birthday, he wore it from egret-feathered top to glimmering cat-suited toe.
In the ‘80s the Mexican govt allowed a Japanese company—Purpura Imperial—to collect the local caracol sea-snail for kimono dyeing. (Unsurprisingly, a similar Japanese species is vanishingly rare.) While the local Mixtec people, who had been using the caracol for centuries, milked the snails of their purple, leaving them alive, Purpura Imperial‘s method was fatal & the population went into freefall. After years of lobbying the contract was revoked.
Interesting that the racist bias in the definition of the colour “nude” has come up in two different books lately, the first being Kory Stamper‘s Word by Word. I prefer the extended treatment in Stamper‘s book over this one. To give St Clair credit, she only allots 2 pages to each of 75 colours, while Stamper devotes a whole chapter to muse about the nuances of nude pantyhose vs nude lipstick.
Plenty of interesting trivia about color, but each entry was hit or miss to me. My favorite aspect was actually the words used to describe colors and the etymologies of color names. I found the printing of colors on each page a little off, but I did love the cover design!
The accent wall is a really pretty navy from Sherwin Williams called Charcoal Blue. It‘s also the color i chose for my bedroom and I loooove it. (2 of 2)
Part art history, part chemistry, part world history, this book picks a handful of shades in each color and explores their stories. I loved this book and I learned so much about color, history, and society's relationship to different shades. I read it cover to cover like a novel, but I would actually recommend reading it in small doses. I think I would've enjoyed it more that way. So much fun to look at, too because all of the pages are colored!
The design nerd in me is going nuts. The first few chapters of this book is a lot of what I did my senior thesis on in college (color theory - in my case color theory and how it relates to theatrical design.)
This makes my heart go putter pat.
No work today!! Happy wind day to DC. 😊
My goodness, Scott! I am utterly overwhelmed by your thoughtfulness! As you can tell from the chalk/taupe wall in the photo, my new house could use some more lively color. 😏 I‘m excited for a Cork Dork buddy read and I adore the mug and socks! My Floridian transplant self is grateful for such gorgeous cold weather staples. Thank you, thank you!
Christmas present from a friend! This book is SO beautiful! All I want to do is curl up and read it with dazzled eyes for the rest of the day. 🌈
Mini histories of 75 colors! Stunning edition! #AllTheExclamations
I'm visiting my sister in Kalamazoo, Michigan and first stop is my one of my favorite places ever: Bookbug. It just expanded and it's honestly the my personal perfect bookshop. If you are ever near Kalamazoo you should definitely stop in!
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ of 5 ⭐️s
If you‘ve ever marvelled at the works of Van Gogh and Monet, or just wondered why Apple products are white (spoiler: they‘re technically not white), then this book is for you. It takes a look at a whole host of colours and the stories behind them: from the mysteries of their making to their cultural significances. Fun and easy reading for artists and readers alike (especially the colour glossary at the end XD).
My friend just wrote up a buzzfeed piece on this book--it looks like such a cute book!