Digital Humanities: Digital Humanities Advancement Grants

Period of Performance

7/1/2020 - 2/28/2023

Funding Totals

$99,017.00 (approved)
$94,245.00 (awarded)

Mapping Color in History

FAIN: HAA-269007-20

President and Fellows of Harvard College (Cambridge, MA 02138-3800)
Jinah Kim (Project Director: June 2019 to March 2024)

The development of a pilot database and visualization tools that will allow users to search a large collection of paintings by pigment and to determine the time and location where particular works of art were painted based on the availability of pigments.

Mapping Color in History [MCH] brings together the scientific data drawn from existing and on-going material analyses of pigments in Asian painting in a historical perspective. As a digital portal with a searchable online database, MCH will not only document pigments and their material properties, but also enable an in-depth historical analysis of pigment data through a search tool that will identify specific examples and their locations in both time and space. It takes an object-based method for data collection instead of a pigment-based organization scheme. By developing a database model that can normalize fragmentary and uneven data, MCH will help scholars to bring together disparate data that is difficult to find or compare. A Level II NEH grant will support the completion of a pilot database of historical pigments linked to paintings, locations, times and a visualization tool that will allow users to search the database for entries that match a particular pigment.

Media Coverage

7 Massachusetts projects awarded National Endowment for Humanities grants (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Caroline Enos
Publication: Boston Globe
Date: 1/17/2020

Associated Products

Mapping Color in History (Web Resource)
Title: Mapping Color in History
Author: Jinah Kim
Abstract: Mapping Color in History is a digital platform that compiles pigment analysis data from existing and on-going research on scientific analysis of pigments with a capacity to add new data through collaboration with research centers that are engaged in pigments analysis in Asian painting and put them in a historical perspective.
Year: 2022
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Mapping Color in History is a searchable pigment database with mapping capability.