• An Atlas of Rare & Familiar Colour
  • An Atlas of Rare & Familiar Colour

An Atlas of Rare & Familiar Colour

Regular price $38.00

The Harvard Art Museums' Forbes Pigment Collection

The Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies at the Harvard Art Museums encompasses over 2,500 of the world’s rarest pigments. Museum director Edward Forbes started the collection at the turn of the 20th century, in order to preserve the early Italian paintings he had begun to collect.

Over the years, the collection grew into a huge apothecary of bottles and beakers, as other art lovers and color experts donated their own pigments. Today the collection continues to grow, and regularly helps experts across the world to research and authenticate paintings.

Visually excavating the museums’ extraordinary collection, An Atlas of Rare & Familiar Colour examines the contained pigments and artefacts—their provenance, composition, symbology, and application.

It also explores the larger related fields of chromatics, the historical narratives of art and chemistry, and the innovations with which we have sought to better illustrate our aesthetic and expressive compulsions.

Includes a foreword by renowned British color author Victoria Finlay.

”An encyclopedic photobook of poised still lifes, where each phial, herb and pigment-filled container becomes a character, narrating the fascinating history of color.” –Wallpaper

Designed by Capucine Labarth

Published by Atelier Éditions, 2019

Softcover, 224 pages, 180 color + 9 duotone + 8 b&w images, 7 × 9.25 inches


Packing books with care since 2012. Thoughtfully curated design books. Thank you for supporting small businesses. Books are for everyone. Looking makes making better. For your research and design department. Read me before designing.