Symposium on Colour- Munsell 2018, Boston Mass

I just got back from Boston from a symposium on colour celebrating 100 years of the Munsell Color Company and the legacy of Albert Munsell.  Most of you probably haven’t heard of Albert Munsell, but he was a artist, a scientist, a teacher, and an innovator.  He developed a system for categorizing and systemizing colour 100 years ago which is still used today by multiple industries including paint, agriculture, pharmaceutical, archeology, food products, and interior design companies to name a few.  He made it easy to communicate colour and set standards so colour would be easy to match and compare.  His system was based mathematically, making it logic to categorize hue, value and chroma, with 5 principal hues of red, blue, yellow, green, and purple.

Example of Munsell Colour System, sourced from Pinterest


This symposium brought together scientists, artists, and industry who use colour in their everyday lives.  It helped each group understand how the others use colour and certainly opened my eyes to how broad and deep the study of colour really is.  There were a numbers of PhD’s in colour science who’s work and study was way over my ability to even understand what they were talking about, but it was very cool to have my brain broadened in this area.  I also enjoyed listening to artists who use the Munsell system to mix colour and combine colour.  The mathematical system creates colour palettes that are balanced by using a colour wheel.  These palettes can be in 3’s or 4’s, and of course there could be thousand of combinations.  This of course is very useful to industrial colourists (think of the latest colour combinations in fashion or interior design), graphic artists, and web designers. I think my biggest take away from the symposium was the people I met from 27 countries.  All who’s lives are somehow invested in colour.  I made some awesome contacts and feel this is the tip of a specialized market that I will continue to learn and take part in.

A few other fun things I did while I was there, was a tour of Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.  I was within walking distance.

Fenway park, home of the Boston Red Sox


Also with walking distance, was the Museum of Fine Art, wow, I was blown away by the collection.  I had never seen an authentic Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, or Rembrandt. Breath taking…


Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Mass


Monet, The Water Lily Pond | Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


Renoir, Dance at Bougival | Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


Van Gogh, Ravine | Museum of Fine Arts, Boston