Forbes Pigment Collection

by Margaret Sun

Housed in the Renzo Piano’s top floor expansion of the Harvard Art Museums, and largely inaccessible to the public, the Forbes Pigment Collection is chromatic, temporal, and geographic vastness bottled, sampled, and shelved. When Edward Waldo Forbes started the collection, it was an attempt to avoid getting conned when acquiring art for Harvard, and to this day represents the intersection of art and science. Science is interwoven into the literal fabric of art, and art lends admiration to the applications of science. These materials transmit the most unusual human stories (from Mummy Brown to Vantablack), and inspiration along with them.

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