Gruppo del Colore – Associazione Italiana Colore
Piazza Carlo Caneva, 4
20154 Milano (Italia)
P.IVA 09003610962
C.F. 97619430156

Gruppo del Colore - Associazione Italiana Colore is a scientific and cultural non-profit organization whose aims are the promotion of science and culture of Color and Light and the technical-scientific, cultural and professional sectors connected to them, with a multidisciplinary approach. The Association wants to spread scientific, technological, cultural and applicative knowledge about the cited disciplines, and to support matters of common interest between members in national and international contexts.


Origin and history of our non-profit Association

Maurizio Rossi, 2011. Many realities in science, culture and profession of Color, that since many years operate in Italy, merged over the time in our association, that lives in the Conferenza del Colore his main moment of annual aggregation. In the following paragraphs, edited by Osvaldo Da Pos, Claudio Oleari and Alessandro Rizzi a story of these experiences is reported.

In the general meeting of our Association in Palermo 2009, the members decided to widen the range of multidisciplinary approaches. In Lecce’s conference in 2010 the presented papers where doubled: 60. In Rome’s conference in 2011 there were 143 papers presented. For the edition of 2012 in Bologna we received 151 papers and more in the following years.

From 2009 the Gruppo del Colore – Associazione Italiana Colore effectively increased his size harboring experiences in the field of instruments and measuring, digital treatment, lighting, physiology and psychology, study of commodities, restoration, representation, in the field of constructed areas, of design, history, culture and education. Since 2011 we are associate member of Association Internationale de la Couleur (AIC). In parallel to the success coming from the embrace of various different sectors and the increase of the number of multidisciplinary researches presented, in the last years, many members proposed to configure the Association as an independent association. After a debate started many years before in 2011 (at the Rome’s conference) over the 90% of the members voted so that our Association turn into an autonomous association keeping nevertheless his historical bond with the Italian Society of Optics an Photonics (SIOF). Starting from this determination in 2012 we became Gruppo del Colore – Associazione Italiana Colore. In the name is reiterated the 25 years old path as a base of our will to open us to the future as a new Associazione Italiana Colore. The members who participated in the re-establishment of the association were: Giulio Bertagna, Mauro Boscarol, Aldo Bottoli, Osvaldo Da Pos, Bepi De Mario, Renato Figini, Davide Gadia, Lia Luzzatto, Veronica Marchiafava, Claudio Oleari, Renata Pompas, Alessandro Rizzi, Maurizio Rossi, Andrea Siniscalco e Francesca Valan. Since 2014, the Associazione Italiana Colore launched a nonprofit activity, for science and culture publishing, of which the proceedings of Conferenza del Colore and the Color Culture and Science Journal, available for free, are examples.

To SIOF goes our sincere thanks for having favored the birth and supported the association from 1995 to 2011.

Alessandro Rizzi, 2009. In April 2004, the Gruppo del Colore was established at Aachen, Germany where the European conference on digital imaging, Color in Graphics, Imaging and Vision, (CGIV 2004) was held.  Whilst attending with Claudio Oleari, we noticed that every national color association, except the Italian, were supporting the conference.

I asked Claudio the reason for such an absence. So, in the same way as other European national color associations, we decided to create a primary organization for all the Italian professionals and researchers working in the field of colour. This has been done enlarging the pre-existing Gruppo di Lavoro in Colorimetria e Reflectoscopia  (SIOF). The details of the story, are told by Claudio in the lines below.

Claudio Oleari, 2010. Before being “Gruppo del Colore” of the Italian Society of Optics and Photonics (SIOF), our organization was “Gruppo di Lavoro in Colorimetria e Reflectoscopia” of SIOF and this was from 1995 to 2004. The first edition of proceedings, started in 1998 and were composed by the communications on three conferences, 1995, 1996 and 1998. In 1995 the Gruppo di Lavoro in Colorimetria e Reflectoscopia of the Italian Society of Optics and Photonics (SIOF) started. The reference model was the British Color Group, that was born over half a century earlier. The objectives of the Color Group (Great Britain) are here reported:

a) To promote the study of color in all its aspects and also the related aspects of vision.
b) To provide an opportunity for the various people and/or groups of people concerned with the scientific, industrial aesthetic and educational aspects of color to meet and become familiar with the problems of each other.
c) To take all such steps as shall be necessary or desirable in endeavours to enable a representative opinion to be formed on various questions of standardisation, specification, nomenclature and all other matters as the Group shall consider necessary in order to assist research.
d) To encourage and promote investigations of color phenomena and the measurement of color and endeavour to ensure that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland shall be aware of developments in other countries of the world.
e) To assist in the dissemination of color knowledge.

In the first meeting of the Gruppo di Lavoro in Colorimetria e Reflectoscopia the following needs emerged from the members: first of all a course of colorimetry, dedicated particularly to those are working in companies, with the aim of bridging the gap in the base knowledge. After three years we have come to the third course of colorimetry, organized with the cooperation and hospitality of the Centro Ricerche Fiat. The teachers of this school have written a book (“Misurare il colore”, Hoepli Ed, 1998, second edition in 2008), first for completeness and in Italian. This book answered the second need.

Since then, three conferences were held. This activity was possible thanks to the cooperation offered by various companies, which the Gruppo di Lavoro in Colorimetria e Reflectoscopia feels obliged to thank and name (in chronological order):
Noselab Srl
Barco Italia
Centro tessile cotoniero e abbigliamento S.p.A. / centro sit n°088
Minolta Italia Srl
The reports were required from various authors to meet the practical needs of members and it is hoped that these proceedings may in time be appreciated for their usefulness.

I believe that the Gruppo di Lavoro in Colorimetria e Reflectoscopia activity may be considered started. The first conference took place in Parma, the second one in Varese and the third once more in Parma. The member participation was almost constant, between sixty and ninety people. Most came from the industrial world and it has been attempted to respond to their particular needs by implementing a range of targeted communications. The conferences had a single day, because company operators found it difficult to leave for longer periods. Furthermore, the choice of locations (Parma, Varese, then Florence and Porto Marghera) was pivotal to the belonging region of the members.

A first expansion was the theme chosen for the two subsequent meetings (Florence and Porto Marghera), “Colorimetry and Cultural Heritage”. These two important meetings took place with the collaboration of Mauro Bacci, who, working on reflectoscopy on Cultural Heritage for many years, was certainly one of the leading experts. In fact, the first of these two conferences held in Florence, at the laboratories of the CNR (then IROE and now IFAC). The second conference was held in research laboratories ENI Porto Marghera, who were working on the conservation and restoration. The conference had the prestigious sponsorships of Central Institute of Restoration, Cultural Heritage Project – CNR and Banca Toscana. These conferences revealed a dichotomy between official and used language, which was highlighted in the preface of the Proceedings of 2000 (Porto Marghera). The next meeting of the two on Colorimetry and cultural heritage were again in Parma (2001 and 2002) with topics of interest to the industrial world. Andrea Raggi in 2002 was elected to coordinate the Gruppo di Lavoro in Colorimetria e Reflectoscopia and with him, after a year more in Parma (2003), the conference took place in Pescara, in the building of the University.

The conference in Pescara (2005) was the first of the “Gruppo del Colore”, open to the entire world of color. The transition from the “Gruppo di Lavoro in Colorimetria e Reflectoscopia” into ”Gruppo del Colore” came with the ambition to grow and to take an international presence. The idea of this passage arose from the question of Alessandro Rizzi CGIV during a conference in Aachen, “why, among the sponsors of CGIV, Italy is missing?”. In Pescara the “Gruppo di Lavoro in Colorimetria e Reflectoscopia” became “Gruppo del Colore”. The conference began to have a duration of three days and opened to all areas in which color is present. In Pescara Alessandro Rizzi was elected coordinator of the Gruppo del Colore. Today the Gruppo del Colore is among the sponsors of the 2010 conference CGIV of Joensuu (Finland). Since 2005, one of the days of the conference is dedicated to “tutorials” and to communications by major foreign speakers.  In 2005 the conference took place in Milan at the University, in 2006 in Turin at the CNR-INRIM, in 2008 in Como at the Politecnico di Milano and in 2009 in Palermo at the Regional Centre for Planning and Conservation of the Region Sicily.

In Palermo (2009) Maurizio Rossi was elected coordinator of the Gruppo del Colore.  The next meeting (2011) will be held in Roma at Università La Sapienza.

Osvaldo da Pos, 2011. 1986 Biennale di Venezia. A group of Italian scientists, among others worth of mention were Attilio Marcolli, Narciso Silvestrini, Osvaldo da Pos, Luigina De Grandis, and still many others, took the occasion of the  43rd International Art Exhibition of the Biennale di Venezia to join their forces and prepare an exhibition on Colour Perception and Colour Illusions for the Biennale, which obtained a great success (Da Pos O. Colore e Percezione. Catalogo Generale XLIII Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte. Ed. La Biennale di Venezia, 1986, p. 137). After that experience the group strengthened their links until then almost informal and started to perform some common work, like participating at the AIC International Meeting “Colour and Environmental Design” organised by Werner Spillmann in Winterthur, 1988. In the meantime (1987) a group of professors and researchers of the University of Padua founded The Interdepartmental Centre “Colour and Art”, in which members of the Departments of General Psychology, Developmental and Social Psychology, Visual Arts and Music, Human Physiology of the University of Padua merged with external scholars belonging to many other Italian universities and public or private institutions. Regular members (of the University of Padua) and external members were about 115 persons for the whole period of life of the Centre, while many hundreds from all parts of Italy supported its initiatives. When the University of Padua promoted a reform of its Departments and Centres, the Colour and Art Centre could not afford the heavy institutional requirements needed for its survival and had to close in 2002. Many members of the Centre took part in the Conference of Pescara (2004) and contributed to the establishment of the Italian Gruppo del Colore.