New Publication: Bloomsbury’s ‘A Cultural History of Color’

A Cultural History of Color in the Medieval Age cover

A Cultural History of Color, Volumes 1-6 Carole P. Biggam (Anthology Editor), Kirsten Wolf (Anthology Editor)

A Cultural History of Color presents a history of 5000 years of color in western culture. The first systematic and comprehensive history, the work examines how color has been perceived, developed, produced and traded, and how it has been used in all aspects of performance – from the political to the religious to the artistic – and how it shapes all we see, from food and nature to interiors and architecture, to objects and art, to fashion and adornment, to the color of the naked human body, and to the way our minds work and our languages are created.

Chapter titles are identical across each of the volumes. This gives the choice of reading about a specific period in one of the volumes, or following a theme across history by reading the relevant chapter in each of the six. The themes (and chapter titles) are: Color Philosophy and Science; Color Technology and Trade; Power and Identity; Religion and Ritual; Body and Clothing; Language and Psychology; Literature and the Performing Arts; Art; Architecture and Interiors; Artefacts.

The six volumes cover: 1 – Antiquity (3,000 BCE to 500 CE); 2 – Medieval Age (500 to 1400); 3 – Renaissance (1400 to 1650); 4 – Age of Enlightenment (1650 to 1800); 5 – Age of Industry (1800 to 1920); 6 – Modern Age (1920 to the present).

The page extent for the pack is approximately 1760pp. Each volume opens with Notes on Contributors and an Introduction and concludes with Notes, Bibliography, and an Index.

The Cultural Histories Series
A Cultural History of Color 
is part of The Cultural Histories Series. Titles are available as hardcover sets for libraries needing just one subject or preferring a tangible reference for their shelves or as part of a fully-searchable digital library. The digital product is available to institutions by annual subscription or on perpetual access via www.bloomsburyculturalhistory.com. Individual volumes for academics and researchers interested in specific historical periods are also available in print or digitally via www.bloomsburycollections.com.

Find out more information here.

Medieval Related Volumes:

Vol. 1: A Cultural History of Color in Antiquity

Vol. 1: A Cultural History of Color in Antiquity


Edited by David Wharton, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA

1. Philosophy and Science, Katerina Ierodiakonou
2. Technology and Trade, Hilary Becker
3. Power and Identity, Kelly Olson and David Wharton
4. Religion and Ritual, Verity Platt
5. Body and Clothing, Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones
6. Language and Psychology, Katherine McDonald
7. Literature and the Performing Arts, Karen Bassi and David Wharton
8. Art, Mark Abbe
9. Architecture and Interiors, Stephan Zink
10. Artefacts, Ellen Swift


A Cultural History of Color in the Medieval Age cover

Vol. 1: A Cultural History of Color in the Medieval Age


Edited by Carole Biggam, University of Glasgow, UK, & Kirsten Wolf, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

1. Philosophy and Science, A. Mark Smith
2. Technology and Trade, Jo Kirby
3. Power and Identity, Wim Blockmans
4. Religion and Ritual, Andreas Petzold
5. Body and Clothing, Gale R. Owen-Crocker
6. Language and Psychology, Carole P. Biggam, Roman Krivko, Piera Molinelli, and Kirsten Wolf
7. Literature and the Performing Arts, Mark Cruse
8. Art, Thomas Dale
9. Architecture and Interiors, Eva Oledzka
10. Artefacts, Leslie Webster


A Cultural History of Color in the Renaissance

Vol. 3: A Cultural History of Color in the Medieval Age


Edited by Sven Dupré, Utrecht University, The Netherlands, & Amy Buono, Rio De Janeiro State University, Brazil

1. Philosophy and Science, Tawrin Baker
2. Technology and Trade, Jo Kirby
3. Power and Identity, Peter C. Mancall
4. Religion and Ritual, Lisa Pon
5. Body and Clothing, Carole Frick
6. Language and Psychology, Doris Oltrogge
7. Literature & the Performing Arts, Bruce R. Smith
8. Art, Marcia Hall
9. Architecture and Interiors, Cammy Brothers
10. Artefacts, Leah R. Clark

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Published by Roisin Astell

Roisin Astell received a First Class Honours in History of Art at the University of York (2014), under the supervision of Dr Emanuele Lugli. After spending a year learning French in Paris, Roisin then completed an MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford (2016), where she was supervised by Professor Gervase Rosser and Professor Martin Kauffmann. In 2017, Roisin was awarded a CHASE AHRC studentship as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, under the supervision of Dr Emily Guerry.

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