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Cooper Hewitt: Saturated — The Allure and Science of Color

Cooper Hewitt

2 East 91st Street, New York, NY 10128

Cooper Hewitt Saturated Allure Science of Color

Cooper Hewitt Saturated Allure Science of Color, is an exhibition on view May 11 through January 13, 2019 that explores the elusive, complex phenomenon of color perception and how it has captivated artists, designers, scientists and philosophers. Featuring over 190 objects spanning from antiquity to the present, the exhibition reveals how designers apply the theories of the world’s greatest color thinkers to bring order and excitement to the visual world.

“Color has been studied for centuries and yet there is still much to learn about its properties,” said Caroline Baumann, director of the museum, “From rare first editions of texts codifying color theory to iconic works from designers who are color masters, manipulating and materializing truly astonishing effects, the exhibition draws on the extraordinary collections of Smithsonian Libraries and Cooper Hewitt to examine how design advances our understanding of what can be achieved when we experiment and innovate with color.”

Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color will be installed in the museum’s second-floor permanent collection galleries and is co-curated by Jennifer Cohlman Bracchi, librarian at Smithsonian Libraries, and Susan Brown, associate curator of textiles at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. The exhibition expands on “Color in a New Light,” curated by Bracchi and presented by Smithsonian Libraries at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. from Jan. 2016 to March 2017.

Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color is organized into seven sections: Capturing Color, Color Optics, Creating Colors, Navigating Color, Color and Form, Color Collaboration and Consumer Choice. —Cooper Hewitt

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Cover photo: Des couleurs et de leurs applications aux arts industriels à l’aide des cercles chromatiques (Colors and their applications to the industrial arts using chromatic circles) by Michel Eugène Chevreul, Paris: J.B. Ballière et fils, 1864; Purchase from the Margery Masinter Endowment, Smithsonian Libraries.

J.B. Schmetterling (Butterfly) Hanging Lamp, 2011; Designed by Ingo Maurer and Axel Schmid; Germany; mouth-blown glass, 3d-printed (flexible free-formed) plastic, machined brass, halogen light source; H x diam.: 46 x 32 cm (18 1/8 x 12 9/16 in.); Gift of Ingo Maurer GmbH and Graham Owen; 2014-7-1-a/c; Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution


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