Color: History!! Chemistry!!!!

Marcy Petrini

October, 2017


Don’t get put off by the title!

In October, my husband Terry Dwyer and I visited the Indianapolis Museum of Art for a fabulous exhibit called The Chemistry of Color. My intent was to come home and write my blog about it. But as Terry and I talked, we realized that the exhibit had piqued our curiosity even more and raised more questions than answers.

Terry (whose chemistry knowledge is far superior then mine, even though I have an undergraduate degree in it) started looking for answers – and the more he looked, the more curious we became….

Until he decided that all of that wonderful information should go on his newly established web site.

Here is a direct link to the summary of the exhibit in Terry’s website.

He is also writing summaries of the 12 pigments showcased in the exhibit, there are 5 listed in various levels of completion. Two that are finished are  Prussian blue (a pigment that owes its existence to the Castle Frankenstein) and ocher (King Midas could almost certainly have turned everything he touched to a golden color).

Even if you aren’t interested in the chemistry, there are all sorts of historical facts that I find fascinating, in particular the incidents surrounding the discovery of that unmistakable blue.



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