The painting, Untitled (1976), was created by Birren to illustrate the rendering of various illumination effects by an artist. It is of significant historical interest in the field of color science and has been the subject of studies by scientists and artists over the years, beginning with a 1977 publication in the leading color science journal, Color Research and Application.
“This painting has tremendous value both as a teaching tool and as a means for further research in the field,” says professor Mark Fairchild, director of the Munsell Lab. “One of our major areas of study is the digital reproduction of artwork, and Birren’s piece will be invaluable in helping us develop better imaging systems.”
The painting was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Allan Wittman of Valley Stream, NY and is already being used in classes and research projects at the lab.
Faber Birren was the author of more than 40 books and articles in the field of color as well as the creator of Yale University’s prestigious book collection on the study of color, now named the Faber Birren Collection.
The Munsell Color Science Laboratory was one of the first research institutions in the world to focus on the study of color science. They are now developing the first doctoral program in the field.
For more information about the Munsell Lab visit their Web site at http://www.cis.rit.edu/mcsl/.