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American Museum of Natural History
Photograph: Courtesy Marco Prati /

This dazzling new American Museum of Natural History museum show is all about color

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver

In these gray days of late winter, we all need a little more color in our lives.

To that end, The American Museum of Natural History is taking a full-spectrum-look at the science and meaning behind color with a new exhibit that'll put you in a color-changing room, a light lab where you'll mix hues and create rainbows, an interactive game show that uses various shades to affect the mind, a mess-less floor-to-ceiling painting room and will put you face-to-face with live animals.

Light art at AMNH
Photograph: Courtesy D. Finnin/AMNH

"The Nature of Color," which opens on March 9, uses these interactive elements to show how animals, including humans, have used color and how they affect us.

According to the exhibit's curator, Rob DeSalle, animals have been using color as camouflage, a way to warn predators and attract mates, plants use it to attract pollinators, and similarly, humans use color to communicate all kinds of messages.

You'll be able to see it in action when you see the live animals within the exhibit: a leaf-tailed gecko that blends in with leaves and tree bark; a golden poison frog whose brightly-hued skin contains a deadly poison; and iridescent blue beetles.

An interactive demonstration dying fabric indigo fabric will also how the rich history of blue pigments across human history and showcase a collection of portraits by Brazilian photographer Angélica Dass spotlighting the diversity of human skin tones.

Senior Staff Photographjer

Photograph: Courtesy R. Mickens/AMNH

The show opens on March 6 for members and March 9 for the public.

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