The chaotic, colorful landscape of Manhattan has inspired a nifty new installation at the Cooper Hewitt museum on the Upper East Side.
In conjunction with its new exhibit “Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color,” the Smithsonian institution has partnered with Color Factory—known for its playful, Instagrammable pop-up in San Francisco—to create “Manhattan Color Walk,” an installation in the museum’s back garden. Designers for the Color Factory traversed the entire island of Manhattan, photographing the sites and colors that inspired them along the way. That imagery then informed the shades—from vivid neons to muted neutrals—found along the Color Walk.
“We walked and biked over 50 miles and took over a thousand photos over the course of several weeks,” Erin Jang, a designer at Color Factory, said in a press release. “It was challenging but exhilarating to explore hidden corners of the borough and gather color from 265 New York City streets.”
Some of the colors will be immediately recognizable to New Yorkers—the dark green of trash cans found throughout the city, which corresponds to 34th Street in the installation—while others are more specific to a particular neighborhood or place. (In Harlem, a barbershop’s signage translates into a light sky blue; a few blocks from that, flowers in a garden on Convent Avenue inspired a shocking electric pink.)
The Color Walk will be on view through June, and admission is free—but one excellent way to get a look is by attending the Cooper Hewitt’s Thursday-evening cocktail parties.