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Camel: a light to medium brown with tinges of yellow or orange in it. like wine, peach, rust, plum, lavender, tangerine, and a bevy of other colors, camel derives its name from the thing its color resembles. camel hair is traditionally found woven with a blend of sheep’s wool into high-end jackets and overcoats.
in the fairly recent past (1855-1866), there were camels roaming from the west texas desert to california. they had been brought to the united states as part of a military experiment to see if they could be trained to carry troops and supplies across the southwestern deserts. they actually worked beautifully for that purpose, but two things hindered their success: first, they were opinionated and difficult to work with (plus reports note that their odor was unbearable); second, the civil war broke out scattering the beasts and their handlers, and the camel corps was forced to disband. by 1866 they were already becoming a memory, as many had escaped the army to live out their lives roaming the desert. in my life i find camel color in the hundreds of moving company cardboard boxes that can be found littering one’s home after a relocation (rich and i have moved 15 times, almost all cross-country, since we first met). when damp the smell of said boxes is very similar to the animal of the same name.
for more information about this series, please visit http://www.argusgallery.com/obscure-obsolete-colors
(image: spiaggia di vendicari, sicily, 2012, archival pigment print)
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