Bridging the Science, Art, and Industry of Color

A cross-disciplinary event hosted by the Inter-Society Color Council and the International Color Association to honor the pioneering contributions of Albert H. Munsell to the world of color.

This special ISCC/AIC centennial symposium celebrates the the past 100 years of the Munsell Color Company's history since its foundation in Boston in February of 1918 and commemorates the 100th anniversary of the death of Albert Munsell in June of 1918.

The Color Tree from A Color Notation (1905)  with Munsell's Five Hues

The Color Tree from A Color Notation (1905) 
with Munsell's Five Hues

Celebrating the Past

By designing a simple, systematic way of defining color, Albert Munsell built a strong bridge between art and science. The Munsell System has formed the basis for new scientific systems, and influenced color research in countless studies. Over the last 100 years, his color order system has been used around the world to teach color and communicate color specifications.

The Symposium will look back at the major milestones in color over the past century and follow the threads of Munsell’s influence from the early 20th century until today.

A. Kirschman (1896)  B. Nickerson Diagram of Munsell (1942)   C. Pope (1922)  D. YCbCr by David Briggs of Dimensions of Color

A. Kirschman (1896)  B. Nickerson Diagram of Munsell (1942)  
C. Pope (1922)  D. YCbCr
by David Briggs of Dimensions of Color

Envisioning the Future

How does the Munsell Color System relate to what is happening in the world of color today? Munsell was a teacher and artist who combined his educational philosophies with the latest color theories and then consulted with scientists to develop his color ordering system. Is it time to repeat the process?

What is at the cutting edge of color exploration? What directions might we be going in the future? How can we work together to promote color literacy in the 21st century? The Symposium will invite participants to think about and discuss these questions with colleagues from around the world.

Honoring Munsell's Legacy

The Symposium will bring together color scientists, artists, industrialists from all over the world for five days of talks, seminars and workshops by invited presenters. We will look back at the last 100 years of color history and look forward to what the future might bring.

Program Details Coming This Summer
A Few of the Invited Presenters

Poster Sessions

The Symposium will also feature three Contributed Poster Paper Sessions on topics specific to the themes of this event. The Call for Papers will go out on September 1, 2017.

There will be a special issue of Color Research and Application dedicated to this conference. All presenters will be eligible to submit full papers to this special issue. Publication will be dependent on successful peer review through the normal journal procedures. The submission deadline for publication will be shortly after the conference.

Walking in Munsell's Footsteps


The Symposium will take place at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston where Munsell went to school and taught for over twenty years when it was the Massachusetts Normal Art School. Munsell's studio and the original offices of the Munsell Color Company were close by in Boston's Back Bay.



Tower Auditorium

presentations by INvited Presenters

The general sessions will take place in the large, centrally located Tower Auditorium. The auditorium is equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual systems and can seat over 400 people.

Media Center

Poster Sessions and Breakout Sessions 

The seminars and workshops will take place in six high-tech rooms just off the lobby of the new Media Center for Art and Design. The soaring Atrium will be the location of the breaks and the poster sessions.


Treehouse Dorm

Affordable housing

Double rooms with private and shared baths will be available for a flat rate for all six nights of the event. This brand new dormitory, nick-named the Treehouse, is across the street from both MassArt and the Wentworth Institute of Technology.  Both schools have cafeterias that will be open to Symposium attendees for breakfast and lunches. 


Convenient Public transportation

Massachusetts Transportation Authority (MTA) streetcars and buses stop right in front of MassArt and connect with both the Amtrak train station and Boston's Logan Airport.

Crossing the River


Munsell often traveled from Boston to Cambridge across the Harvard Bridge to consult with faculty at both Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

A number of optional field trips to the special collections at Harvard and MIT as well as visits to Boston's Museum of Fine Arts and Isabella Stewart Gardner museums will be scheduled during breakout sessions.

Much has changed in the fabric of Boston over the past 100 years but the spirit of academic rigor and intellectual curiosity still thrives. We are excited to be hosting the Munsell Centennial Symposium in Boston in June of 2018!




Join us in Boston next June!