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The Republic of ColorScience, Perception, and the Making of Modern America$
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Michael Rossi

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226651729

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226651866.001.0001

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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: 27 September 2021

The Logical and The Genetic

The Logical and The Genetic

Bodies, Work, and Formal Color Notations

(p.203) Chapter Seven The Logical and The Genetic
The Republic of Color

Michael Rossi

University of Chicago Press

This chapter describes the ways in which abstract systems of color nomenclature indicated very concrete modes of understanding human beings, especially in terms of labor and race. Harvard professor Denman Ross’s system imagined ideal observers of pure, logical mentation. Albert Munsell’s system proposed a developmental strategy for cultivating the visual work in young children. And Gertude and Charles Davenport used Milton Bradley’s color system as a foundation for understanding race as a matter of eugenic interventions. In all of these cases – logical, pedagogical, eugenic – formal color ordering systems stood for ways of ordering bodies vis-à-vis particular visions of work and social hierarchy.

Keywords:   Gertrude Davenport, Charles Davenport, Denman Ross, race, labor, color systems

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