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The Munsell Color System
A Practical Description With Suggestions for Its Use
by T. M. Cleland
While attending the Boston Normal Art School in the late 19th century, Albert Munsell was keenly aware that a practical theory of color did not exist. From his own work and experiments, he developed the Munsell Color System. Using his system made it possible to discuss color scientifically. He defined color in terms of Hue, Value and Chroma. Hue was defined as the actual color, red, blue, green, etc. Value was defined as how light or dark a color is. Chroma was defined as how strong or weak a color is. He published a standard color atlas defining the Munsell Color Standard which, before his work, had been an impossible task.
His work was embraced by the scientific community. In 1914 he was invited to present his findings to the scientific communities of England, France and Germany. His theory is still taught today.
Mr. T. M. Cleland has written this book which describes exactly what is meant by Color Hue, Color Value and Munsell Chroma. He then goes on to explain how to use the Munsell Color Theory to balance colors in order to achieve color harmony and how to find complementary colors. Having explained color balance and "opposite" colors, as Munsell calls them, Mr. Cleland goes on to show how to put the theory into practice.
Click the links below to begin reading our edited version of this interesting and easy to understand book on The Munsell Color Theory. We have reproduced the original illustrations from the book and added a few of our own.
Chap 1, Hue
Chap 2, Value
Chap 3, Chroma
Chap 4, Color Wheel
Chap 5, Complementaries
Chap 6, Color Balance
Chap 7, Color Combinations
App 1 Summary and Usage
App 2 Usage Examples
App 3 Hue Nomenclature
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Munsell Color Wheel