The American Museum of Natural History’s most vibrant new exhibit is an in-depth exploration of color
Photo credit: R. Mickens/© AMNH
For most of us, color is such a seamless part of how we experience the world that we don’t think to stop and question it. But color is more than just a visual phenomenon, it carries symbolic and cultural meanings, has the ability to impact our mood, and in the natural world, it plays a critical role in the survival of many species. The many dimensions of color will be explored in The Nature of Color, a new exhibition opening at the American Museum of Natural History on March 9th.
In the exhibition entrance, visitors will explore the physics of color in an immersive room that alternates between two kinds of lighting: one with color, and one without. One bulb produces a full spectrum of colors and illuminates everything in the gallery. The other light produces just one color, a pale yellow that makes everything in the room appear gray—including you. Photo credit: R. Mickens/© AMNH
There’s something for everyone to enjoy in the show’s family-friendly, Instagrammable format, which features models, cultural objects, interactive media, and exhibits that invite visitors to play, experiment and witness how color works for themselves.
Some highlights include a color-changing room, a light lab that demonstrates how white light is actually a mixture of colors, an area where you can “paint” with light beams, a room where you’ll meet colorful real-world critters like the iridescent blue beetle, and an installation by Brazilian photographer Angélica Dass that celebrates the diversity of human skin tones.
Photo credit: D. Finnin/© AMNH
”Color is all around us, shaping our emotions, our actions, and our surroundings, yet we often take it for granted,” said museum president Ellen V. Futter in a press statement. “This immersive exhibition will explore the role and power of color in the natural world, in human cultures, and in our personal lives.”
”A key component of the museum’s 150th-anniversary celebration, this exhibition does what the museum does best: explore the intersection of science, nature, and culture in ways that are engaging and exciting,” she continued.
Museum members can preview the exhibition starting on Friday, March 6 through Sunday, March 8. It will remain on view through August 8, 2021.
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Images by R. Mickens and D. Finnin/© AMNH