Volume 3, Number 2, May 1981, p.7

Inter-Society Color Council


The 50th Anniversary meeting of the Inter-Society Color Council was held in New York City, April 26th and 29th. Sub-committee 37, dealing with artists' materials, met and elected a new chairman, Mark Gottsegen, of the Department of Art, University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

One of the purposes of this subcommittee is to translate technical information about artists' materials into the language and terminology of the artist and artisan, and to disseminate this information in handbook form. The handbook is to describe the characteristics of pigments, media, solvents and other formulations currently available.

Before the handbook could be prepared, much information had to be gathered. Studies for the handbook included analyzing existing commercial artists' paints. Dr. Fred Billmeyer, at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is continuing to look at the organic pigments and Dr. Treva Pamer, at Jersey City State College, is examining the inorganics. Approximately 700 samples have thus far been tested.

Another support project for the handbook, as well as an aid to the establishment of the ASTM's Subcommittee to develop voluntary standards for artists' oil and acrylic paints, is the testing for lightfastness of pigments proposed to be used in artists paints. Mr. Henry Levison, chairman of the Task Group for this project has either conducted or supervised the major part of the undertaking. Mr. Levison has been engaged in this activity for about three years. An updated report was presented at this meeting and a completed report should be ready by the end of June of this year.

Joe Turner Luke, outgoing chairman of the Subcommittee and continuing chairman of ASTM Subcommittee D01.57, proposed that since sufficient material will soon be available, work should commence on the development of the handbook. Ms. Luke suggested that a limited palette might be developed and provided in the handbook of the most durable of presently accessible pigments, giving the largest color gamut.

Other projects under consideration include the development of teaching aids and a speakers' bureau for lectures on artists' paints and related materials. Further suggestions are invited and may be sent to WAAC's representative to the committee. Zora Pinney, 11961 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025. Anyone with an interest in the ISCC Subcommittee is invited to join the ISCC Color Council and participate.

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