Capturing Colour

In 2010/11, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery presented the exhibition ‘Capturing Colour: Film, Invention and Wonder‘ which ran from December 2010 to March 2011.

Symphony of the Seasons (1936)

‘Capturing Colour’ was the first exhibition to tell the international story of colour film – from hand-colouring through to the digital image. It focused on the colour moving image in Britain from its origins in magic lanterns, early colour photography and Kromskops, to applied colour films, Kinemacolor, Technicolor and Kodachrome. Fantasy worlds, the wonders of the nature, cinema blockbusters and home movies all illustrated the stories of the quest for colour. An exploration of Brighton and Hove’s role as the birthplace of Kinemacolor was of special interest. Films were viewable on 20 screens throughout the galleries.

Digital re-construction

For the exhibition, Screen Archive South East’s research led to the digital re-construction of several 100 year-old Kinemacolor films — restoring colour to rare surviving black & white 35mm prints, and showing them for the first time to modern audiences.

Two Clowns (1906)

Exhibition highlights included film posters, treasures of the early cinema like George Albert Smith’s ‘The Two Clowns’, an extract from ‘The Red Shoes’ in glorious Technicolor, along with the cameras and projectors used to make and show colour films throughout the 20th century. The curator was SASE’s Director Dr. Frank Gray and the re-constructions were developed and produced by SASE’s Preservation & Technical Manager, Nick Clark.

Capturing Colour was a collaboration between the Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove and Screen Archive South East. It was funded by Renaissance South East, Screen South and UK Film Council’s Digital Film Archive Fund and supported by the National Lottery, University of Brighton and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.