A Natural History of Color: The Science Behind What We See and How We See it

A Natural History of Color: The Science Behind What We See and How We See it

by Rob DeSalle

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Overview

A star curator at the American Museum of Natural History widens the palette and shows how the physical, natural, and cultural context of color are inextricably tied to what we see right before our eyes.

Is color a phenomenon of science or a thing of art? Over the years, color has dazzled, enhanced, and clarified the world we see, embraced through the experimental palettes of painting, the advent of the color photograph, Technicolor pictures, color printing, on and on, a vivid and vibrant celebrated continuum. These turns to represent reality in “living color” echo our evolutionary reliance on and indeed privileging of color as a complex and vital form of consumption, classification, and creation. It’s everywhere we look, yet do we really know much of anything about it? Finding color in stars and light, examining the system of classification that determines survival through natural selection, studying the arrival of color in our universe and as a fulcrum for philosophy, DeSalle’s brilliant A Natural History of Color establishes that an understanding of color on many different levels is at the heart of learning about nature, neurobiology, individualism, even a philosophy of existence. Color and a fine tuned understanding of it is vital to understanding ourselves and our consciousness.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643134437
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 07/07/2020
Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 540,707
File size: 10 MB

About the Author

Rob DeSalle is a curator in the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics and professor at the Richard Gilder Graduate School at the American Museum of Natural History. He is the author of The Science of Jurassic Park and the Lost World (with David Lindley, 1997) and the coauthor of Welcome to the Microbiome: Getting to Know the Trillions of Bacteria and Other Microbes In, On, and Around You (2015), among others.

Table of Contents

Prologue ix

1 The Color of the Universe 1

2 Color without Eyes 32

3 Color with Eyes 62

4 The Colors of Evolution 90

5 Gary Larson's Animal Coloring Book 120

6 The Colors of History and Culture 149

7 The Color of Humans 181

8 The Color of Our Minds 201

Epilogue: The Color of Existence 221

Appendix 225

Bibliography 229

Acknowledgments 241

Index 243

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