Mary Hallock Greenewalt: Light: Fine Art the Sixth (1918)

15 October 2013, dusan

Greenewalt playing on her colour organ, the Sarabet, in 1925. (via CVM)

Between 1918 and 1926, the Beirut-born and Philadelphia-based visual music pioneer Mary Hallock Greenewalt (1871–1951) delivered a number of lectures to the Illuminating Engineering Society of Philadelphia. In them she outlined her project of the development of a colour organ. In an address of April 19, 1918, titled “Light: Fine Art the Sixth,” Greenewalt cited innovations in painting by the artist Corot which encouraged her to investigate light and colour as a means of enriching musical expression. Greenewalt also referenced reports of synaesthetes, people who experience cross-sensory perceptions such as those who see letters or numbers in different colors.

26 pages

A brief outline of all four lectures
Greenewalt’s biography from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania

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