A Library Filled With the World’s Rarest Pigments

Over 2,500 of the world’s rarest colors are housed inside The Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies at the Harvard Art Museums. Many of them date back to prehistoric times, when pigments obviously weren’t readily available—they needed to be harvested from natural minerals and materials and further mixed to create just the right color. Fast Company recently visited The Straus Center to take a look at a few of the most interesting samples in the collection, including Mummy Brown: a pigment taken from the resin in mummies’ wrappings.