CURIOSITIES AND STORIES

“The Secret Lives of Color”

By Kassia St. Clair

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

SUMMARY

The Secret Lives of Color tells the unusual stories of seventy-five fascinating shades, dyes, and hues. Yes, stories about colors!

From blonde to ginger, the brown that changed the way battles were fought to the white that protected against the plague, Picasso’s blue period to the charcoal on the cave walls at Lascaux, acid yellow to kelly green, and from scarlet women to imperial purple, these surprising stories run like a bright thread throughout history.

In this book, Kassia St. Clair has turned her lifelong obsession with colors and where they come from (whether Van Gogh’s chrome yellow sunflowers or punk’s fluorescent pink) into a unique study of human civilization. Across fashion and politics, art and war, the secret lives of color tell the vivid story of our culture.

“Colors, therefore, should be understood as subjective cultural creations: you could no more meaningfully secure a precise universal definition for all the known shades than you could plot the coordinates of a dream.”

 

Kassa St. Clair

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kassia St. Clair is a journalist and author from London. She has mostly written about design and culture for publications including the Economist, Elle, and the Times Literary Supplement.

“Someone wearing a snow-pale winter coat telegraphs a subtle visual message: “I do not need to take public transportation.”

Kassa St. Clair

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