Blue: Color and Concept at The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University, January 18- April 19, 2014
Most libraries tend to curate exhibitions by theme or category. But Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library has dared to curate by color. Blue: Color and Concept includes blue artifacts from the library’s archives of children’s literature, Harlem Renaissance poetry, and experimental film.
Objects on view include poet Langston Hughes’s blue enamel-decorated cigarette case and an experimental film of dancer, choreographer and anthropologist Pearl Primus (clad in blue). Interestingly, Primus choreographed a work inspired by Langston Hughes’s famous poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” and performed it at her Broadway debut in 1944. But blue doesn’t just belong to the past. In conjunction with the exhibit, contemporary poet Maggie Nelson will read from her book Bluets – “a lyrical exploration of personal suffering and the limitations of vision and love, as refracted through the color blue.” And if you’re lucky enough to visit the Beinecke on a clear day, look up as you leave and there it is again: the color of the sky.