The History of the Color Pink

Known in Chinese as “foreign color,” pink has a rich and interesting history—in nature, art and culture. From its use in the 1700s in fashion and decor, to the 18th century Rococo movement, and today’s “millennial pink” craze, it’s a hue that has plenty of historical signposts. Perhaps most fascinating about the color, it’s not part of the electromagnetic spectrum, Christina Olsen says, “When we …

Pantone’s Purple Honoring Prince

Inspired by Prince’s one-of-a-kind Yamaha purple piano, a new standardized custom color has been released by the Pantone Color Institute and the Prince Estate. Instead of a name and numeric value, as is standard for Pantone, the deep, regal color is simply represented by Prince’s “Love Symbol #2,” which the artist himself used from 1993 to 2000. From the nickname the “Purple One” to his …

Storing the World’s Rarest Colors

When one thinks of valuable entities, commonly we lean toward precious stones, gold, or maybe even water. The Harvard pigment library, however, houses another priceless thing: rare colors, colors that people used to search the world to find. Narayan Khandekar, the collection’s custodian (and the director of the Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies at the Harvard Art Museums), says the work is approached …