“Color Problems” by Emily Noyes Vanderpoel

Introduction Essay:

“To Capture the Music of Light”

by Alan Bruton, 2018

Book Publication & Exhibition Development


In developing curriculum on color studies in 2010, an inspiring and little known body of existing work emerged.

Alan Bruton contributed the introduction essay to the first reprinting of the 1902 book “Color Problems, a Practical Guide to the Lay Student of Color” by Emily Noyes Vanderpoel.

The introduction provides contemporary context in art and design for Vanderpoel’s work.

An exhibition about the life, subject matter, means of production and produced works of this remarkable early design thinker and proto-abstractionist,  is being prepared for exhibition.

To read the essay:

To Capture the Music of Light

To order the book in hardcover or paperback, follow this link to Sacred Bones:

Color Problems

or to Circadian Press:

Color Problems

For the New York Times article by Julie Lasky about the re-publication of the book:

New Life for a 1902 Color Manual

For the GoodReads Article:

Color Problems: An Exciting New Reissue Revises Color Theory & Design History

For the PrintMag Article:

Color Problems: An Exciting New Reissue Revises Color Theory & Design History

For the HyperAllergic Article:

Revisiting Emily Vanderpoel’s Color Theory Book 117 Years After Its First Release

The original Kickstarter page and its videos are very informative.


Many thanks to the archivists, conservators, and librarians who continue to contribute to the scholarship of Vanderpoel, The Litchfield Historical Society, the Norwich Slater Museum, and to editor Keegan Mills Cooke for the invitation to contribute my research to this project.

The Book

Introduction Text Tucked into the Back Cover

Introduction Text Holds the Book’s Viewing Devices

Photo of Emily Vanderpoel

News and Social MediaNews_%26_Social_Media.html
Alan Bruton StudioMain.html
Larry Clark ExhibitionLarry_Clark.html
Vanderpoel Color Problems
Writer’s CompoundWriters_Compound.html
Cultural ApertureBridging_Gaps.html
CIty 4City_4.html
Recruiting Station ( at ARO)Recruiting_Station_%28w_ARO%29.html
Wythe Avenue (w/ MDIM)Wythe_Avenue.html
Sticker ShockStickershock.html
GWB Stress AnalysisGWB_Stress_Analysis.html
Rorschach Psyche SpaceRorschach_Space.html
Ink on Paper FoldedInk_on_Paper_Folded.html
Anchorage Event SpaceAnchorage_Space.html
Chinatown GarretChinatown_Garret.html
Paper Wall ( at ARO)Paper_Wall.html
Soundpods ( w/Genken)Genken_Soundpods.html
Film Wall ( w/D.Margeiter)Filmakademie.html
Farm Store BoothFarm_Store_Booth.html
Airplayers  (w/ Sara Armstrong)Airplayers_%28w_Sara_Armstrong%29.html
Crab ChairCrab_Chair.html
Festpielhaus (w/Martin Beck)Festpeilhaus_%28w_Martin_Beck%29.html
“White” Exhibition%22White%22_Exhibition.html
Stress WallpaperStress_Wallpaper.html
Aperture MouldingCultural_Aperture.html
Elemental OrnamentalElemental_Ornamental.html
Works & Projects:Works.html
Curriculum VitaeCV,_Alan_Bruton.html
Venice BiennaleVenice_Biennale.html
Salon, a Ludic SpaceSalon_Project.html
Securities (w/Standard)Securities.html
Seems ScreenSeams_Screen.html
Sally Sherwin Walsh BookSally_Sherwin_Walsh_Book.html
Sheetrock WallSheetrock_Wall.html