The first publication of the Munsell color system was from the 1905, A Color Notation. The Atlas of Color followed in 1913, which fully illustrated the system. Then in 1929, the Munsell Book of Color was published, a revision and extension of the Atlas, another step towards the modern book used today. Explore an original printed version of the book as you learn the system and better understand color.
Color is the most persistent quality apparent in Nature and is the strongest single influence pervading our lives from without. It is present wherever the eye can see. No visible thing is without color. Every object is seen only as a color or combination of colors and every contour and detail of every object is seen only as color or colors. This is true even in the case of the color blind, for although their perception of HUE and CHROMA may be impaired or absent from their vision, for then they would have no vision. They would be totally blind.
The vast majority of persons are lacking in adequate color knowledge and must seek for themselves that information relating to its use and appreciation which is the inborn gift of the favored few. But natural taste or aptitude should not be mistaken for organized fundamental knowledge; the naturally gifted cannot accurately communicate their ideas of color without a common language of color, for intelligent discussion of the subject requires mutual understanding of the terms used. The practical knowledge of color, including balance and notation, is presented in organized form and language in the MUNSELL BOOK OF COLOR.
Read other excerpts from The 1929 Munsell Book of Color
The Munsell Book of Color 1929: Preface by A.E.O. Munsell
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