Harmonizing These Two Arts: Edmund Lind's The Music of Color
Author: Kargon, Jeremy
Source: Journal of Design History, Volume 24, Number 1, 2011 , pp. 1-14(14)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract:Written and illustrated in 1894 by British-born American architect Edmund Lind, the unpublished essay titled The Music of Color includes elaborate graphic representations of musical scores and spoken word. These plates are today often described as early depictions of Lind's own synsthesia, and are considered among the earliest artistic expressions of that phenomenon. A review of the original text suggests, however, that Lind's method was notational and that Lind himself had no personal experience of synsthesia. In fact, Lind's view of art and science remained firmly anchored in earlier nineteenth-century sources. Two particular works, cited by Lind in his essay, represent alternative cross-currents among that period's many speculative links between music and colour. In addition, Lind's architectural education in London occurred at the height of the Victorian-era design reform movement, which sought to revolutionize the visual character of England's material culture. The reformers appeal to abstract structure, as embodied in their study of botany and quasi-scientific theories of colour, was an implicit source of Lind's later fascination with music's representation through visual means. The Music of Color anticipated the graphic experiments of a later generation's avant-garde, especially among those art movements founded in the wake of increasing challenges to traditional modes of perception.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2011-01-01
- Journal of Design History is a leading journal in its field. It plays an active role in the development of design history (including the history of the crafts and applied arts), as well as contributing to the broader field of studies of visual and material culture. The journal includes a regular book reviews section and lists books received, and from time to time publishes special issues.