How has modern science transformed colour?

Dr. James Fox

The last 150 years has brought about the greatest revolution there's ever been in colour. How have we ended up living in a hyper-coloured world?

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"In many respects, colour's greatest challenge is - like music - it resists most attempts to describe it. Colour might be one of those subjects that simply can't be written about."

But that's not going to stop Dr. James Fox from trying.

James is an art historian at the University of Cambridge, a curator, an award-winning broadcaster and the author of bestselling book The World According to Colour. He's joining us in The Garden to answer the most fascinating questions we could think to ask him about colour.

The last 150 years or so has been the greatest revolution ever in the history of colour. The birth of modern science and mass production has meant we have been able to create more colours than have ever existed before. Colour has become so common, and so cheap, that most of us take it for granted.

A few centuries ago, a basic box of crayons, with its hues lined up like a rainbow, would have sent emperors and alchemists into raptures; nowadays, it can barely even keep a toddler occupied.

How is today's technicoloured world different from the world our ancestors inhabited? And what's next for the world according to colour?

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Talk outline

Duration

50 minutes

What to expect

30 minute talk

20 minute Member Q&A

Dr. James Fox

James fell in love with art at the age of six and hasn't looked back since. He is now an art historian at the University of Cambridge, a curator, an award-winning broadcaster and the author of bestselling book The World According to Colour.

The World According to Colour Collection

"In many respects, colour's greatest challenge is - like music - it resists most attempts to describe it. Colour might be one of those subjects that simply can't be written about." But that's not going to stop Dr. James Fox from trying!