Seeing Color: A Matter of Nature, or Culture?

Seeing Color: A Matter of Nature, or Culture?

An exhibition at the Museum of Natural History is the sum of all lessons on hue. …

Humanity’s favorite color, polls confirm year after year, is blue. It was also, for centuries of Western art history, the most expensive color, produced from rare lapis lazuli. (In the past you’d paint the Virgin Mary wearing pricey blue as a symbol of your devotion, though if you did so today you might get brought up on charges of abetting a terrorist organization: …

Is color a universal thing or a particular one? Is it an affair of nature or culture? In Europe only the highest nobility could wear purple clothing; in China, they wore yellow. You wear white for a Buddhist funeral and a Christian marriage. Kids can explore the cultural meanings of color in an interactive game show here, with the adorable title “All About Hue,” hosted by an anthropomorphic blob of paint, which they can play live on a smartphone.

By Jason Farago, The New York Times

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