According to Oscar Wilde, sage green walls show off paintings to best advantage. (And he certainly paid attention to decor – As he lay dying in a Paris hotel he is famously quoted as saying, ‘My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or other of us has to go.’)
When the Museum opened in 1994, I was surprised how many visitors wanted to know what specific paint colours we used because they wanted to paint rooms in their own homes the same colours. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised, having once coated my living room in colour best described as “chicken wiener”. It’s not easy to pick a paint colour based on paint chips alone. In any case, Museum staff have had almost daily requests. Particularly popular shades were those on the 4th floor gallery walls showcasing 16th – early 20th century paintings.
For the record, here they are. All are from Pratt & Lambert.
Heather Dusk #2331 – Levy Gallery (blue)
Nesika Bay #2223 – Levy Gallery (sage green)
Dusty Mink #2037 – Tomlinson Gallery (pinkish taupe)
Ancestral #1426 – Sherman Gallery (white)
Icy Morn #1470 – Lobby and Stairwell (pale green)
For insight into how the curators at the Smithsonian Institute select their paint colours, check out: The Art of Colour, At Museums, Walls Play Off What’s on Them
- Rose Anne Prevec, Communications Officer, McMaster Museum of Art