Life in Color: Life Magazine and the Color Reproduction of Works of Art

  • Melissa RennEmail author
Part of the Worlds of Consumption book series (WC)


Although Life magazine is best known for its black-and-white photography, it played a pioneering role in the history of color reproduction and color photography. This chapter looks at Life’s collaboration with the Chicago printing firm R. R. Donnelley & Sons and explores the impetus behind the magazine’s investment in color printing, especially in the color reproduction of works of art. Life played a key role in the promotion of American art and culture, and also published a wide range of art in color from around the world, from prehistoric cave paintings to Renaissance frescoes and African art. Through its investments in color technology, Life not only became a leader in color printing but also placed the United States at the center of the global art world.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harvard Business SchoolBostonUSA

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