Colourful Discoveries — exploring Newcastle’s museum collections through colour: Orange
by Helen Vasey, Assistant Keeper of History, Discovery Museum
Step into a world of colour. Discover fascinating objects from across Discovery Museum’s wonderful collections through a kaleidoscopic lens.
Each week we will focus on a different colour linked to our new Google Arts & Culture online exhibition. This week we’re looking into the colour orange.
Orange is often described as zingy and is considered bright, energetic and cheerful.
Orange pigment was originally made from the mineral orpiment, which contained slight traces of arsenic. It has been used prolifically by artists: from Egyptian tomb painters to the Pre-Raphaelites (who idolised red haired women) and then to Impressionists, who used orange to depict the sunshine of southern Europe.
Trick or treat? Orange has various symbolic meanings across the globe. In the Netherlands it is the colour of the Royal Family and on King’s Day everyone dresses in orange clothing. In western countries it is linked to Halloween, probably due to pumpkins and autumnal leaves.
Did you know? In the western world the colour orange was referred to as yellow-red until the fruit was introduced to Europe in the late 15th century. It is often used by brands who want to express that they offer value for money or excitement and adventure.
If you would like to delve deeper into Discovery’s colourful collections, you can explore the online exhibition here.