Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Republic of ColorScience, Perception, and the Making of Modern America$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Michael Rossi

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226651729

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226651866.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

Small Lies for Big Truths

Small Lies for Big Truths

Standards, Values, and Color Terms

Chapter:
(p.176) Chapter Six Small Lies for Big Truths
Source:
The Republic of Color
Author(s):

Michael Rossi

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226651866.003.0007

This chapter looks at anxieties and debates over color names and color terms in turn of the century America. “The Color Question,” as board game magnate and sometimes-color-scientist Milton Bradley called it, concerned the accuracy and seriousness with which words for colors mapped onto color sensations. This was not simply a practical matter, but was also a moral one — definiteness in nomenclature indicated soundness of mind and stability of society. This chapter focuses on efforts to devise morally and scientifically sound names for colors, examining systems devised by Bradley and his associate, J.H. Pillsbury; Smithsonian Institution ornithologist Robert Ridgway; and art professor Albert H. Munsell. In these attempts, one finds not only a drive to industrial efficiency, but a great deal of anxiety about the mutability of human beings in modern society: a society in which even basic, shared measures of reality – such as the color of objects – could no longer be communicated reliably between observers.

Keywords:   Milton Bradley, Robert Ridgway, Albert H. Munsell, color terms, language, morality

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.