Stories and Strategies

The Invention of Color

April 11, 2021 Doug Downs Season 2 Episode 48
Stories and Strategies
The Invention of Color
Chapters
Stories and Strategies
The Invention of Color
Apr 11, 2021 Season 2 Episode 48
Doug Downs

As early as 40,000 years ago humans used a combination of soil, animal fat, burnt charcoal, and chalk to create colour palettes (or color in America).
We know that story… but here’s the one we don’t know. In a world before trains, reliable road networks, automobiles, and urban settings, most people lived rural lives. Colour was seasonal and bound by the natural light and local environment.
Someone living in coastal Wales would have seen the green of the hills, but only occasionally punctuated by pink or yellow wildflowers. Indigo and purple would have been rare and fleeting.
A Shoshone person living in Utah would have seen a world of red, orange, gold, and brown – but green would have been rare. When colour finally did enter into the people’s lives, it was disorienting and somewhat… immoral.

Guest Carolyn Purnell, Ph.D.
https://www.carolynpurnell.com/contact

Links to three part series in Psychology Today available below:
The Invention of Color
The Color Revolution
Taming Color

Link to Tedx Talk given by Carolyn
Link to Carolyn’s book – The Sensational Past: How the Enlightenment Change the Way We Use Our Senses

Show Notes

As early as 40,000 years ago humans used a combination of soil, animal fat, burnt charcoal, and chalk to create colour palettes (or color in America).
We know that story… but here’s the one we don’t know. In a world before trains, reliable road networks, automobiles, and urban settings, most people lived rural lives. Colour was seasonal and bound by the natural light and local environment.
Someone living in coastal Wales would have seen the green of the hills, but only occasionally punctuated by pink or yellow wildflowers. Indigo and purple would have been rare and fleeting.
A Shoshone person living in Utah would have seen a world of red, orange, gold, and brown – but green would have been rare. When colour finally did enter into the people’s lives, it was disorienting and somewhat… immoral.

Guest Carolyn Purnell, Ph.D.
https://www.carolynpurnell.com/contact

Links to three part series in Psychology Today available below:
The Invention of Color
The Color Revolution
Taming Color

Link to Tedx Talk given by Carolyn
Link to Carolyn’s book – The Sensational Past: How the Enlightenment Change the Way We Use Our Senses