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FLEET LIBRARY | Research Guides

Rhode Island School of Design

Color: Theory, Terminology, and Symbolism: Definitions & Symbolism

A resource guide on color theory, color symbolism and meaning

Getty & Berg Online

These sources are available through RISD Library's Databases A-Z


Art & Architecture Thesaurus
is an authoritative source for the language and terminology used in art & architecture. Use it to gather terminology on a topic. For a sample of its content, begin by scanning the entries under color.
 

Berg Fashion Library - is a full-text, scholarly source for information relating to fashion and dress. See the article on Color in Dress.

Books


Birren

Definitions of Color
Dictionary of Color
Color: universal language and dictionary of names
Dictionary of Colour a lexicon of the language of color

Glossary of Color Terms
Color Terminology (ebooks)



Thoughtforms:
Sudden Flight

Annie Besant &
C.W. Leadbeater

 
Color Symbolism
Color and Culture: Practice & Meaning
from Antiquity to Abstraction

Color and Meaning: Art, Science, and Symbolism
Color Categories in thought and language
Color Compendium
Colors what they mean and how to make them

Dictionary of Symbols

Browse the subject Symbolism of Colors


 

Birren

Bibliographies on Color
Color Theory: a Guide to Information Sources
Faber Birren Collection of Books on Color


Many individual colors have their own subject heading- here's a sample from RISD's catalog:

black in art
blue in art
pink in art
mauve

red in art
yellow in art

green in art
white in art

TIP: Use these subjects to search meta-catalogs, such as worldcat.org to find more items on specific colors. Use Interlibrary Loan to request items not owned by RISD, Brown or the Athenaeum. You may also suggest a purchase for the library's collection.

Oxford Online

Oxford Art Online- see this article from Grove Art Online for an historical overview of Colour. Browse the entries under the article's See Also link.

See this article on Color from the Encyclopedia of Aesthetics (2nd ed.) for a discussion of Color in the Arts and Color Science. Notice the bibliographies of these articles for further study.


Oxford English Dictionary Online-OED definitions include the origin of the word, its historical useage including its first appearance in the English language, cited quotations, pronunciation, spelling, and a date chart showing its useage over time. example:
crimson


Oxford Reference Online-includes Oxford reference sources on a wide range of topics. See Munsell colour system

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