On Colour

From Joyful, by Ingrid Fetell Lee (p29):


Why do some cultures reserve color only for celebratory moments, while others make it a part of the everyday?

It would be easy to conclude that it’s a simple matter of preference: certain cultures have developed an appetite for color, while others prefer a grayscale life. But I think the real answer lies in a cultural bias deep in Western society that runs toward sophistication, away from joy. This bias was forcefully expressed by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe when he wrote in 1810 that “savage nations, uneducated people, and children have a great predilection for vivid colors,” but that “people of refinement avoid vivid colors in their dress and the objects that are about them, and seem inclined to banish them altogether from their presence.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.