Date Read: April 2nd, 2021
Final Score: 8 / 10 !
I picked this book up as a tangentially related piece for one of my Museum Studies classes and I have come to be extremely glad that I did so!
This is half reference book and half historical survey that looks at the history of color, the discovery and creation of pigments, and the ties between science, art, and economics that relates something as seemingly simple as color to the forces that govern society as a contiguous whole.
Containing short vignettes (2-4 pages each) on the histories of 75 particular pigments from 10 distinctly defined color families. Some chapters go more into the symbolism on the pigments in question, some more into the recipes used to create them, and some into the practical uses of given pigments by artists or craftsworkers.
It's a very odd, but wholly accessible, survey of history through the lens of art and economics, with a large swath of the human condition finagled into bite-sized pieces bridging the gap between the prehistoric caves at Altamira to the modern art tables of American daycares. It is extremely well researched and deeply informative, but only in a topical manner of introducing the audience to names and places and concepts that might of of interest for further research.
I highly recommend it for the simple cause of gaining casual insight on one of the most fundamental aspects of human history (one that goes largely unstudied within the modern education system)!