From the Director


When the autumn leaves turn to gold, the Frist Art Museum will be ablaze with a full spectrum of vibrant colors. Inside the October–December issue of the FAM Quarterly, you can learn more about the exhibitions that will be on view and how people from various cultures maximize the impact of juxtaposing various hues. Traditions involving color often have ancient origins grounded in the indigenous flowers, fruits, and vegetables of a country or region. One can never discount the influence of terrain and topography— rivers, seas, hills or plains, and sky—on aesthetic choices.

You may recall the mnemonic device ROY G. BIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) for the spectrum of the rainbow, the original prism. Color theory underpins our everyday lives, from the industrial, interior, and landscape designs surrounding us to fashion and marketing. In our current and upcoming exhibitions—including Murals of North Nashville Now, Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists, OSGEMEOS: In between, and Eric Carle’s Picture Books: Celebrating 50 Years of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”—you can see how several different artists mix, match, and contrast color. If you would like to read about color theory, check out Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Theory of Colours, Johannes Itten’s Elements of Color, or Josef Albers’s Interaction of Color.

During the 2018 renovation of Martin ArtQuest, we installed an Everbright, a large panel of color-changing dials that, when rotated, reveal more than one hundred colors. The color changes are subtle and, working with one or multiple dials, people can create complex, integrated designs. This interactive station can be experienced individually or collaboratively, and exploring its possibilities is a popular activity among Frist visitors of all ages.

We expect our autumn lineup of exhibitions to inspire new heights of interest in and understanding of how colors communicate more than meets the eye. We look forward to seeing you at the Frist soon and often.

Susan H. Edwards, PhD
Executive Director and CEO



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