Skip to Main Content

All Aspects of Color Resources: About



A comprehensive exploration of the historical, theoretical, psychological and technical aspects of color in art, architecture, culture, design, and science, this guide is an in-depth collection of circulating books on color related subjects, that also offers relevant web and open access resources.

Color is one of the most evocative elements of our perception. It is a subjective experience that works differently for each person, as it relates to the way we perceive the world and recall our memories. From the original color theories formulated by philosophers Democritus and Aristotle, to the Renaissance artists who organized color systems, and Isaac Newton's analysis of the spectrum to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's color theory and Emily Noyes Vanderpoel’s color studies, their principle focus was to analyze color in Western culture.

This guide also includes color analysis from the Eastern perspective. Color, its beauty and symbolism play a major role in Asian arts and culture such as Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Persian (Iranian), and Tibetan among others. The importance of color in indigenous, vernacular, and contemporary arts and culture in the regions of Africa, Australia, and New Zealand are also covered in this guide.

In1902 color theory scholar, artist and historian Emily Noyes Vanderpoel published her color analysis studies in a book titled Color Problems. Her gridded minimalist approach to pattern design predicted the abstract art movements of the 20th century.

The pioneering Bauhaus educator, and color theoretician Johannes Itten was significantly inspired by the practice of Eastern meditation in relation to education, and included it in his curriculum.Itten had a significant influence on his students, most notably Josef Albers who became an influential teacher and developed his own color theory and teaching method at Bauhaus, Black Mountain College, and Yale University where he headed the department of design. His book Interaction of Color was first published in 1963.

While viewing any work of art such as a drawing, installation, manuscript, painting, photograph, sculpture, textile, video, or any other form of art, ask yourself if the work can retain its dynamism and vitality without the color elements.

If you plan to extend your research incorporating magazine and journal articles use the sites listed under Articles & Databases via Artists Studios Resources that also provides listings of exhibitions, fellowships, grants, jobs, residencies and other opportunities as well as access to virtual libraries, museums and podcasts with emerging and renowned critics, curators and practitioners via Web Resources and Interviews & Podcasts tabs.

"The kingdom of colors has within it multidimensional possibilities only partly to be reduced to simple order. Each individual color is a universe in itself." –Johannes Itten, The Art of Color (New York: Reinhold Publishing Corporation, 1961), p. 117.

Arezoo Moseni, Senior Art Librarian at Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library

Profile Photo
Arezoo Mohseni
455 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016