In Mary Ruefles 2016 collection of poems, essays, and stories, My Private Property, the author describes the sadness of several colors. “Blue sadness is that which you wish to forget, but cannot,” she writes. “Purple sadness is the sadness of classical music and eggplant, the stroke of midnight.” And “Pink sadness is the sadness of white anchovies. It is the sadness of deprivation, of going without.” Ruefles’s desire to codify color is reflected in the natural world, where hot-pink flowers attract hummingbirds, and white lilies open their petals at night. Color elicits emotion, actions, and conjures references. This exhibition explains nature’s adaptive uses of color, and explores the importance of hue in the cultural world, its communication of feelings, identities, and messages. With several interactive components, the show is enlightening for both children and adults. —C.J.F.
American Museum of Natural History 200 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024, United States Get Directions »