169. Albers, Josef. Interaction of Color. New Haven: Yale University

Press, 1963. Text vol. 80 pp.; Commentary vol. 48 pp., loose plates.

B/W illus, color illus.

    This original limited edition consists of a text volume that describes

color relativity experiments developed in Albers’s color course, a collection

of loose silk-screened folders showing 150 large color studies by Albers

and his students, and a volume with commentary on the color studies, all in

a large 10 1/2 by 14 inch format designed by Norman Ives. Albers’s

innovative method replaces traditional pigment-based color theory and paint

exercises with first-hand observation of color interaction and experiments

with prepared colored papers. The text offers deceptively brief essays on

25 color studies including illusions of transparency, middle mixture,

vibrating and vanishing boundaries, fluting, afterimage, the Weber-Fechner

law, and the Bezold effect. Since Albers rarely states a clear definition, the

reader is left to draw conclusions from musical analogies and the

experiments, which is the author’s intent. Albers offers some views of

color science and proposes a perceptual or afterimage basis for

complementary color pairs. For commentary on Albers’s interpretation of

color science see Vitz and Glimcher, Modem Art and Modem Science (27).

Absence of an index is a drawback. Nonetheless, this monumental work on

color relativity has won wide acceptance among educators, especially after

the appearance of the inexpensive paper back edition (see 178).

170. Albers, Joseph. Interaction of Color. 2nd printing. New Haven:

Yale University Press, 1971. 81 pp. B/W illus., color illus. ISBN 0-300-

0 1 846-0.

    This student edition consists solely of the text volume which is

unabridged although reduced to 6 by 8 inches, and a small sampling of the

many color plates in the original 1963 edition. Missing are the commentary

volume and the many beautiful silk-screened color plates. The text presents

25 color relativity studies from Albers’s color course at Yale that are based

on color paper experiments with such color illusions as transparency,

middle mixture, vibrating and vanishing boundaries, fluting, afterimage,

and the Weber-Fechner law and the Bezold effect. Some readers find the

text somewhat difficult to follow since Albers rarely states a clear definition

and leaves the reader to draw conclusions from musical analogies and the

experiments. Absence of an index remains a drawback. Nonetheless, this

edition has conveyed Albers’s innovative presentation of color relativity to

several generations of students.

171. Bradley, Milton. Elementary Color. Springfield, MA: Milton Bradley Co.,

1895. 1288 pp. B/W illus., color illus.

    Bradley was part of an American educational reform movement that

believed art education should be sequential and build on previously acquired

knowledge. Consequently, this small book for elementary teachers and

advanced students provides basic information, a simple nomenclature for

standard colors, and a color system based on the Maxwell wheel. Much of

the book is devoted to practical experiments and a discussion of teaching

color in the schoolroom. The Milton Bradley Company marketed school art

supplies and produced teaching aids including color wheels, prisms, scales,

charts, and books a decade before the Munsell Company became active.

This work is of interest for its historic view.

172. Carpenter, H. Barrett. Colour: A Manual of Its Theory and Practice. 3rd

ed. London: B. T. Batsford, 1933. 87   Index, color illus.

    The first edition of this work appeared in 1915, at the close of

Carpenter’s long career as headmaster of an English art school. Ogden

Rood’s table of the natural order of colors is acknowledged as the

cornerstone of Carpenter’s approach. Basic color studies and guidelines for

practice intended to form the foundation of a color course for painters,

decorators, and textile artists, are well illustrated by color plates of abstract

color patterns that anticipate the Albers’ color relativity studies. Fine plates,

careful organization, and lucid explanations by a master teacher enrich this

color design treasure.

173. De Grandis, Luigina. Theory and Use of Color. Translated by

John Gilbert. New York: Abrams, 1986. 159 pp. Index, bibl., B/W

illus., color illus. ISBN 0-8109-2317-3.

This Italian artist-teacher’s “complete panorama of the various

aspects under which color can be considered” is a very thorough and

readable compendium of important topics. After an introduction to color as

light, a definitive color theory chapter reviews luminosity, warm and cool,

value and lightness, saturation and intensity, and much more. The brief

discussion of major color systems leads to an explanation of Alfred

Hickethier’s CYMK color system that will be valuable to those interested in

color printing because Hickethier’s system rarely appears in American

publications. Careful attention is given to the objective and subjective

nature of color in chapters on physical and chemical factors, psychophysical

parameters, and painting techniques and practices. A strong emphasis on

the “The Visual Apparatus” includes several theories of color vision and the

CIE triangle. Discussions of lighting conditions, perception, and color

equilibrium -- which explore successive and simultaneous contrast and

harmony -- round out the book. De Grandis credits some of her sources

and includes several European color authorities in her selected 29 item

bibliography, for example, including Heinrich Friehling. The beautifully

printed color plates, many by her students, and illustrations of examples

from art and design are well located adjacent to explanatory text. While

intended to serve as a reference and handbook rather than as a text, the lack

of specific student exercises may be viewed as a shortcoming by teachers.

174. Ellinger, Richard G. Color Structure and Design. New York: Van Nostrand

Reinhold, 1963. 137 pp. Index, B/W illus., color illus.

    Ellinger begins this textbook with a summary of the Munsell system,

covers the spectrum and vision, and compares pigment colors to the colors

of light. He then considers color in the context of the basic design

principles of limitation, balance, dominance, and rhythm, and describes

color harmony in terms of these principles. The author provides a useful

method for analyzing and graphically representing color usage in design

work. The text includes 22 projects for students. A 1980 paperback reprint

is identical to the original 1963 textbook except that all of the color

illustrations are grouped in the center of the book instead of at the end, and

the brief and dated bibliography has been omitted.

175. Graves, Maitland. Color Fundamentals. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1952.

206 pp. Index, endnotes/footnotes, B/W illus., color illus.

    The author revised and expanded the color chapters in his earlier Art

Of Color and Design (1951) to create this more comprehensive and

integrated approach to color. The section on color sensation includes

information on color vision as well as on the psychology of color, color

symbolism, and even color hearing. Color blindness, optical illusions, and

afterimages are treated as modifiers of color sensation. His color

organization is based upon the Munsell color system. This book’s current

usefulness is primarily as an example of color study in the 1950s.

176. Itten, Johannes. The Art of Color. New York: Van Nostrand

Reinhold, 1973. 155 pp. B/W illus., color illus. ISBN 0-442-24037-6.

    This color classic, first published in German in 1961, and rapidly

adopted by American educators, explains color theory and color principles

with examples from the history of art. One chapter is devoted to each of

seven color contrasts: light-dark, hue, warm-cold, complementary,

simultaneous, saturation, and of special importance to designers, the

contrast of extension which determines areas of color according to their

numerical light values -- here attributed to Goethe (rather than to

Schopenhauer as held by Albers.) Large illustrations and tipped-in color

plates in the 1973 edition contribute to the book’s beauty and usefulness. A

new 1990 printing is essentially the same except that it is entirely printed by

offset . A simplified and condensed version for student use is available

under the title The Elements of Color.

177. Itten, Johannes. The Elements of Color. New York: Van Nostrand

Reinhold, 1970. 95 pp. B/W illus., color illus. ISBN 0-442-24038-4.

    Written by a Bauhaus master who developed the basic course on

form and color, this condensed but thorough student-text version of Itten’s

major work, The Art of Color, examines color usage by artists and

discusses three ways to approach color: visually, emotionally, and

symbolically. Itten uses the physics of color to lay the groundwork for

understanding color effects and describes and illustrates seven color

contrasts of hue, light-dark, cold-warm, complementary, simultaneous,

saturation, and extension. His error in attributing Schopenhauer’s ideas on

proportion to Goethe subsequently reappears in work based on Itten such as

Mante’s Color Design in Photography and McKelvey’s Color for Quilters.

This edition is easy to follow and understand.

178. Jacobs, Michel. The Art of Colour. Rumson, NJ: Primatic Art, 1948. 91

pp. Color illus.

    Designed as a system for teaching the art of color, this work

includes portions first published in 1913. Fascinated with the theories of

Helmholtz, Jacobs devised a way to relate the new knowledge of additive

color mixing to paint. His 24-hue color wheel finds a place for both the

spectral and the pigment primaries. One interesting feature of the book is

the series of color plates showing bridging of complements in nine-step

scales, which are then tinted to create a total of four value steps. The broad

scope of this book is evident in the separate chapters on painting, printing,

interior design, costume design, landscape gardening, cut flowers, weaving

and textiles, dyeing and batik, stage lighting, and house painting. A final

dictionary chapter covers hues and their place in the spectrum,

complementary color, history, chemical properties, and psychology or

association. Most of the paintings are by Jacobs and are mediocre. Little

gems of information and a quaint style make this book a historic curiosity.

This volume is related to Jacob’s color course text The Study of Colour

with Lessons and Exercises (1948).

179. Jacobs, Michel. The Study of Colour with Lessons and Exercises.

Rumson, NJ: Primatic Art, 1948. 219 pp. Glossary, B/W illus., color illus.

    This course of study details 38 exercises divided into three parts that

could be used for three years to teach color theory as demonstrated in

Jacob’s The Art of Colour also published in 1948. The author’s theory of

color is based on then-current discoveries in the scientific and artistic

worlds. The complementary pairs on his 24-hue circle sometimes agree

with Munsell and anticipate Itten and sometimes do not. Most of the book

is a guide to using colored pencils to fill in designs with prescribed color

schemes that progress from one color and one complement, to six colors

with five complements. As in Jacobs’s hue circle configuration, if all colors

in each scheme were mixed a perfect neutral gray would result. One triad

and one monochromatic lesson and a chapter on still-life painting conclude

the book. The book may be useful as a record of an early approach to

teaching color.

180. Klee, Paul. Notebooks Volume 1: The Thinking Eye. Edited by Jurg

Spiller. Translated by Ralph Manheim. London: Lund Humphries, 1961.

541 pp. B/W illus., color illus. ISBN 8533l- 085- 8.

    This volume of Klee’s lecture notes, memoranda, projects,

drawings, and sketches from his courses at the Bauhaus addresses his

theory of form production. The 45-page chapter on color includes five

lectures on color order, relationships, harmony, and movement, which

incorporate ideas he attributes to Goethe, Runge, Delacroix and Kandinsky.

Diagrams illustrating his basic color lessons reveal his own careful color

strategies. Given Klee’s renown as an artist, this compilation of

pedagogical writings is a valuable document of his visual thinking.

181. Kueppers, Harald. The Basic Law of Color Theory. Translated

by Roger Marcinik. Woodbury, NY: Barron, 1982. 220 pp. Index, bibl.,

B/W illus. , color illus. ISBN 0-8120-2173-8.

    The author intends this reference, based on color as perceived

sensation and supported by scientific facts, for educators and practitioners

in applied art areas from art education to his own field of printing

reproduction technology. Compared with his Color; Origin, Systems, Uses

(1972), here Kueppers combines a briefer discussion of perception

principles and color relationships with practical instructions for classroom

teaching. Helpful explanations cover the relativity of color perception, the

interaction of light waves and the human eye, and the Kueppers

rhombohedron color solid. Though the mathematical models of color

relationships may be rather obscure to some readers, the abundant

illustrations help clarify difficult concepts. The section on the role of color

in art and design is brief but useful. Instructors and advanced students

interested in color technology will enjoy this thorough approach. The 15-

item bibliography is annotated and a list of suppliers for teaching aids is


182.Lambert, Patricia. Controlling Color: A Practical Introduction For

Designers And Artists. New York: Design Press, 1991. 92 pp. Index,

B/W illus., color illus. ISBN 0-8306-3559-9.

    The introduction in this informative text addresses the spectrum and

visible light, light primaries, colorants, subtractive mixing, the effect of

texture and light, and color constancy. Six chapters cover the origins and

sources of color, color properties, color “synchronicity,” color contrasts

and effects, colorant mixing. Both the traditional hue circle and the CMYK

Hue circle are included. Interesting discussions of hue, value, intensity, and

temperature incorporate various meanings of the terms and suggest their

interrelationships. Although the author does not acknowledge Itten

anywhere, she presents color harmonics based on proportion and numerical

ratios which she attributes to Goethe, suggesting that she is an Itten

follower. Other detailed and also undocumented discussions of afterimages

and of simultaneous contrast are confusing and contradictory. Six methods

are given for reducing afterimages in designs are listed, while fourteen

Chevreul’s laws of color contrast are illustrated. This text is enhanced by

ten studio projects for each chapter that include exercises for mixing paint

modulations or scales and matching colors. Shortcomings include the lack

of bibliography, list of references, or documentation.

183. Poling Clark V. Kandinsky‘s Teaching at the Bauhaus. Color Theory and

Analytical Drawing. New York: Rizzoli, 1986. 160 pp. bibl. B/W illus.,

color illus. ISBN 0-8478-0780-0.

    While Kandinsky’s writings on color have not been as easily

accessible as those of his Bauhaus colleagues Itten and Albers, they deserve

to be as well known. This scholarly account of Kandinsky’s role at the

Bauhaus presents a collection of student work from his “Color Seminar,”

and describes and analyzes materials that includes Kandinsky’s statements

and course notes taken by his students. Fully one half of the book is

devoted to Kandinsky‘s study and teaching of color: color relativity, color

polarities, spatial phenomena, correspondence of colors and forms, color

psychology,.the hue circle, simultaneous contrast, and color in pictorial

compositions. When addressing color issues the artist states that he relied

on Goethe’s Theory of Color and his own On the Spiritual in Art.

Originally published in Germany in 1982, this rich resource for color

theorists and educators interested in the approach of a renowned artist-

teacher is enhanced by beautiful color printing done in Japan.

184. Sargent, Walter. The Enjoyment and Use of Color. Rev. ed. New York:

Dover, 1964. 274 pp. Index, endnotes/footnotes, B/W illus., color illus.

    Color is approached from a painter’s viewpoint in this color classic.

The author begins with an introduction to hue, value, intensity, scales, and

hue circles. He then discusses and uses color problems to illustrate

perceptual and traditional complements, simultaneous contrast, visual mix,

and advancing and retreating qualities. Each discussion includes an

exploration of a color topic, opportunities for experimentation by the reader

and finally, questions to assess understanding. Sargent’s approach is

interdisciplinary and ranges from the physics of color perception to the

aesthetics of color in painting, is enhanced by material from the color

literature. This corrected and revised version of the original 1923 edition

uses the physical properties of color as a guide to a personal and subjective

study of color. Sargent offers no new theories, but the analyses of color

effects, the series of color experiments, and the examples from nature and

art are all excellent.

185. Sidelinger, Stephen J. Color Manual. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice

Hall, 1985. 122 pp. Bibl., B/W illus., color illus. ISBN 0-13-152041-5.

    This text for students surveys many color concepts: Munsell’s three

color dimensions of hue, value, and chroma; afterimages; complementary,

warm and cool, and simultaneous contrasts; physiology; proportion; and

color harmonies such as triads and tetrads. Occasionally, the book’s

organization is illogical and there are some inaccuracies, such as the

attribution of color proportion ratios to Goethe. This eclectic book is a

popularization and summarization of theories expressed by Munsell, Itten,

and Albers. The final quarter of the book deals with “universal

psychological color associations” which though interesting, are

undocumented. Among the useful features are the color illustrations and a

complete set of Munsell Student Charts.

186. Sloane, Patricia. Colour: Basic Principles and New Directions. New York:

Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1967. 96 pp. Bibl., B/W illus., color illus.

    The special focus here is on color in fine arts, especially in

contemporary painting of the 1960s. A concise overview of many color

systems and an explanation of historic and ethnic color use and color

symbolism are followed by a description of basic color principles. There

are frequent comments on works by great painters and contemporary artists,

but the illustrations do not always relate to or throw light on the author’s

points, which seem more related to teaching art appreciation or art criticism

than to studio production, although practice exercises for students are


187. Smith, Charles. Student Handbook of Color. New York: Reinhold, 1965.

95 pp. Bibl., color illus.

    The Ostwald color system is the basis for a controlled approach to

subjective color that emphasizes perception rather than pigment or the

physics of light. The is not, however, a comprehensive introduction to

color. Readers are encouraged to participate and learn about color by

completing designated plates using silk-screened Color Aid papers.

Learning to mix colors in paint is not a consideration, a view he shares with

Albers. The intended audience for this book is the high school or college art

student, but teachers may also find some ideas here.

188. The Society of Dyers and Colourists. Introducing Colour. London: 1975.

50 pp. Appendices, B/W illus., color illus.

    This book is directed to the British teacher who wants to include the

teaching of color in a course of general studies. Building on the premise

that color is an important part of daily life, this book assumes a need for

education on color at an elementary educational level for all students.

Information on color science, theory, and perception is concisely presented

in chapters contributed by W. D. Wright, T. Green, K. McLaren, H.W.

Ellis, and M. Cambell. Instructions for demonstrating additive and

subtractive color with colored filters are given.

189. Swinoff, Lois. Dimensional Color. Los Angeles: University of

California Press, 1989. 168 pp. Index, bibl., B/W illus., color illus.

ISBN 0-8176-3253-0.

    Swinoff moves beyond the two dimensional color investigations of

her teacher, Josef Albers. Her main concern is with the interaction of color

with light, form, and surface in three-dimensional space. The theoretical

background section summaries include the contributions of Ewald Hering,

Max Wertheimer, James J. Gibson, Edwin Land, and artist-colorists Josef

Albers and Georges Seurat. Subsequent sections show experiments using

abstract three-dimensional forms that evoke the spatiality of color. Other

topics explored are the interaction of color and pattern, color reflections

within cylinders, transformations, camouflage, and other color ambiguities.

Contrary to the generally held psychological opponent theory that presents

red and green, blue and yellow, and white and black contrasts, Swinoff lists

the psychological primaries as red, yellow, and blue. Enhanced by many

splendid colored plates of the work of Swinoff and her students, this

reference will reward anyone who is interested in three-dimensional color.

190. Tonks, OJ. Colour Practice in Schools: A Graded Course in Colour

Seeing and Using for Children between the Ages of Five and Fifteen. 2

vols. London: Winsor & Newton, 1935. 168 pp. B/W illus., color illus.

    This course of study is based on the premise that color is

fundamental and should be studied from an early age following a cohesive,

graded plan. Through 27 steps, the student progresses from simple

exercises in recognizing and talking about color to more complex lessons on

contrasts, harmony, and gradation. The second volume deals with color

usage, controlling contrast, and color harmony. The approach, with its

“rational combination of Science and Art” is based on Wilhelm Ostwald’s

Color Science. The exercises are dated and prescriptive. Still, the influence

of color science on teaching about color to children may attract the interested


191. Tritten, Gottfried. Teaching Color and Form. New York: Van Nostrand

Reinhold, 1971. 147 pp. B/W illus., color illus.

    Originally published in Switzerland, Tritten describes how he

develops graphic techniques and color sense in children ages 1 l to 16.

Written for the instructor, fully a third of the book presents color studies for

children. Twenty-five exercises for learning to use color range from

preliminary experiences such as a visit to the zoo, to color topics and studies

appropriate for children. The lessons consists of two-page units with

instructions for combining crayon, colored pencils, or watercolor with

drawing. The first page presents the lesson plan, then lists and discusses

materials, process, and evaluation. The second facing page shows

examples of the resulting work by children. While there is no general

introduction to color, color principles are discussed within the context of

their application in specific lessons. This comprehensive, well-written, and

generously illustrated text documents the author’s contribution to art

education in Switzerland during the 1960s.

192. Tritten, Gottfried. Teaching Color and Form in the Secondary School.

New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1971. 147 pp. Bibl., B/W illus., color

illus. ISBN: 0-442-28603-1.

    This account of how “graphic techniques and color sense can be

systematically developed in children thirteen through sixteen,” is written for

instructors. A third of the book provides color instruction in 41 two-page

lesson units. The first page presents educational aims, goals in pictorial

design and analytical thinking, aesthetic judgment for each lesson, and

examples for study of art appreciation. Illustrations of student work based

on the lesson appear on the opposite page. Tools, various art materials and

processes including embroidery, stained glass, and weaving, nature studies,

color and decoration, and subjective color are some of the topics. Basic

color exercises follow the tenets of Johannes Itten, who is cited, while other

abstract lessons focus on color composition, proportion, and placement.

The student examples compare favorably with work by college-age students

at the Basel Art School shown in Basic Principles of Design by Manfred

Maier. Both Tritten and Maier convey the spirit of Swiss education in art.

193. Wong, Wucius. Principles of Color Design. New York: Van Nostrand

Reinhold, 1987. 101 pp. Index, B/W illus., color illus. ISBN 0-442-


    Wong, who has written texts on two- and three-dimensional design,

now addresses color and design basics. Rather than follow a single color

system he credits Goethe for the six hue circle that features red on top, and

“echoes” Munsell theories in the analyses in the text. A quarter of the books

consists of general two-dimensional design concepts with black-and-white

plates. He then discusses some common terms and principles of color

design. He uses the terms “high, medium and low key” rather than the

more standard “light, medium and dark value,” but the accompanying

illustration fails to explain his point, and the related figures 87 and 88 seem

to be reversed. Important ideas such as color harmony and simultaneous

contrast here merit only two pages of discussion. In the color design

section, examples of color relationships are often shown as central figures

on dark or black grounds. The many illustrations by his students are

reduced to 2-5/8” and I-1/8” squares, which makes it difficult to see clearly

all of the described relationships. In summary, the text is too brief, the

illustrations too small, and the shapes generally too complex to present the

color principles clearly. However, the color design section outlines a number

of specific strategies such as value gradation, chroma gradation, hue

gradation, and hue mixtures, which makes this text more helpful than most

in this respect. Those seeking information on practical application for color

design beyond the classroom will need to look elsewhere.

194. Zelanski, Paul, and Mary Pat Fisher. Color. Englewood Cliffs,

NJ: Prentice Hall, 1989. 144 pp. Index, glossary, notes, B/W/ illus.,

color illus. ISBN: O-13-151259-5.

    This fine reference offers a concise yet understandable overview of

essential topics: color physics; additive color relationships; pigment colors

And the traditional 12 hue circle; saturation, hue and value according to

Munsell; color perception; psychological effects of color; color symbolism;

personal color preference; and color expression. Color is discussed from a

design point of view as it relates to balance and proportion, emphasis, and

unity in composition. Historic color theories are traced from Leonardo Da

Vinci, Newton, Moses Harris and Goethe to Runge, Chevreul, Rood,

Munsell and Ostwald. Color mixing principles and notation are related to

dyes, pigments, ceramic glazes, color printing, and color photography.

Other chapters cover light mixtures in the electronic environment and color

combinations and interactions. The history of color in painting, and color

application in the fine arts and in the applied design fields are illustrated with

American, English, and continental examples. The careful placement of the

excellent color illustrations within the relevant discussions in the text is the

highly commendable achievement of the English book designer and color

printing in Singapore. Zelanski (a student of Albers) and Fisher back up

their superb overview with informative chapter notes and a glossary.

While this is a general reference for artists and art students in all media, a

list of recommended student problems is available separately.