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Color Problems: A Practical Manual for the Lay Student of Color

Sacred Bones

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Emily Noyes Vanderpoel (1842-1939) was an artist, collector, scholar, and historian working at the dawn of the 20th century. Her first and most prominent work, Color Problems: A Practical Manual for the Lay Student of Color, provides a comprehensive overview of the main ideas of colour theory at the time, as well as her wildly original approaches to colour analysis and interaction. Through a 21st century lens, she appears to stumble upon midcentury design and minimalism decades prior to those movements. 

Lined with 116 remarkable colour illustrations, this abstract and poetic book is being properly reprinted for the first time since 1903.

Emily was a remarkable and tenacious academic mind. Alongside a rigorously studied examination of the principals of color theory, her gridded Color Analysis works predict abstract art movements, while her quiet experiential Color Note watercolors denote a particular sensitivity to time and place. 

Emily's principal motivation was to make color theory available to every person, not just artists or people in graphic trades. Her idea that homemakers and everyday people could benefit from a better understanding of color was a radical democratization of a perviously niche discipline.
Sacred Bones has teamed up with longtime collaborator The Circadian Press to reproduce and distribute this seminal text.

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