Inter-Society Color Council photographsCreation: 1930-1980
The Inter-Society Color Council coordinates the activities of leading technical societies relating to the description, specification, and standardization of color, and promotes the practical application of this knowledge in science, art, and industry. Dorothy Nickerson (1900-1985) worked in the research laboratory of the Munsell Color Company from 1921-1926, and is known for her numerous contributions to the field of color science. This collection consists of materials from the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum.
- Creation: 1930-1980
7 Linear Feet
General Physical Description
26 photographic prints : b&w ; 8 x 10 in. 8 photographic prints : color ; 2.5 x 3.75 in. 8 photographic prints : b&w ; 2.5 x 3.7 in. 1 photographic print : color ; 3.5 x 5 in. 7 photographic prints on mounts : b&w ; 5 x 7 in. 2 photographic prints : b&w ; 5 x 7 in. 14 slides : lantern, color. 600 slides : color ; 35 mm. 40 reels : b&w : 16 mm. 24 reels (on cartridges) : color : 16 mm. 2 microfilm reels ; 35 mm.1 item (35 mm roll of color slide film)
Organized in 1931, the Inter-Society Color Council coordinates the activities of leading technical societies relating to the description, specification, and standardization of color, and promotes the practical application of this knowledge in science, art, and industry. There are currently more than 30 national associations and technical societies participating in the ISCC, including the Munsell Color Foundation. The Munsell Color Foundation promotes the advancement of color knowledge, particularly as it relates to the standardization and specification of color and color terminology, as well as its practical application to color problems in science, art, and industry.
Dorothy Nickerson (1900-1985) worked in the research laboratory of the Munsell Color Company from 1921-1926, before joining the United States Department of Agriculture as a color technologist. Among Dorothy Nickerson’s contributions to the field of color science was her participation in the development of the Munsell Renotation System, which provided a graphic representation of the spacing of Munsell colors according to CIE coordinates. Following her official retirement in 1964, she continued her active involvement with the Optical Society of America’s Committee on Uniform Color Scales and the Subcommittee on Color Rendering of the Illuminating Engineering Society. In collaboration with Deane Judd, she completed studies for the National Bureau of Standards on the spacing of Munsell colors, which produced the Munsell Re-renotations, and a comparative analysis of the Munsell Color System and the Swedish Natural Color System.
Scope and Content
Received from the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, Series I. consists of materials both relevant and tangential to the larger ISCC manuscripts collection. The Cooper-Hewitt materials consist of miscellaneous films, prints and slides relating to design, art and architecture. Included in this material is correspondence related to several English Romantic paintings in an unidentified family’s collection. Additionally, there are a number of prints and negatives related to natural history, Japanese art, urban design and mineralogy.
In Series II. are items related to Dorothy Nickerson’s contributions to the development of standardized systems for identifying and evaluating color. The bulk of this series consists of materials related to A. H. Munsell’s painting and color system collected by Dorothy Nickerson. In the collection are materials relating to images of Munsell’s paintings given by members of the painter’s family to Dorothy Nickerson: approximately three dozen prints, 6 color slides, and photocopies of articles and materials related to Munsell’s work (Including a detailed inventory prepared by Joy Turner Luke of the ISCC and correspondence regarding Munsell’s portrait of Helen Keller.) Paintings include seascapes, a portrait of Helen Keller, and Munsell’s The Ascension of Elijah, winner of Second Prize at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris, c.1885; The collection also includes a photograph of Munsell’s Boston studio. The collection contains many slides used to illustrate Dorothy Nickerson’s article on the history of the Munsell Color System, published in the journal Color Engineering, Vol.7, No.5 and reprinted as the third in a series of articles for the journal Color Research and Application, Vol. 1, No. 3., 1968, 1975. There are approximately 70 slides of charts and diagrams illustrating the Munsell system and mounted slides of Munsell charts and models, undated.
Existence and Location of Copies
View this collection online in the Hagley Digital Archives.
This collection is open for research.
Film material is housed in cold storage and must reacclimate prior to viewing. Please contact the Pictorial Collections Department at least 48 hours in advance of research visit.
Language of Materials
MSS Accession 2188 (PC accession 2003.228 Series I. Inter-Society Color Council via Cooper-Hewitt Museum), containing the bulk of the collection, was acquired from the Cooper-Hewitt Museum. MSS Accession 2189 (PC accession 2003.228 Series II. Dorothy Nickerson Papers via Inter-Society Color Council), consisting of the Dorothy Nickerson Papers, was acquired from the Inter-Society Color Council.
While every effort was made to preserve the filing scheme of the creating body where it remained intact, the disorganized state of many of these records required the creation of various organizational systems based on functional categories in order to gain intellectual control over a diverse body of material.
Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- Inter-Society Color Council photographs
- Chris Chenier and encoded by Chase Markee
- Description rules:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description:
- Script of description: