GERALD ROY: A very important quilt in the exhibit is the Yellow and White Baskets. Through my years of teaching color, yellow has always been probably the most difficult, not the most important, but the most difficult color to use.
And it’s because the light refractive quality of yellow is greater than any of the other colors in the color wheel. Yellow green, yellow orange, orange, have strong, strong refractive qualities. But yellow has the greatest.
And it’s also why you see it used on signs, for instance. It’s used on school buses. It’s used on road signs. It’s used on stop signs. Because it emits the greatest degree of light refractive quality. The only other color that has an equal importance is white.
And that’s why this particular quilt is so important, because this particular quilt, the quilt maker understood that if she was going to use that strong degree of yellow, the only color that was actually going to be able to compete with it is going to be white. And that’s why this quilt is important in the exhibit, because white, otherwise, has been used in the traditional section, and has been used with contrast.
Now, we don’t get to see the back of the quilt, but the back is also important, because the quilt maker was not only sensitive enough to use the yellow and the white together, but the back of it is the complement of yellow, which is purple.