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Can colour be curative?
Other work by Howard Kemp Prosser as shown at the Ideal Homes Exhibition in London in 1913 Photo: Illustrated London News [London, England], 25 October 1913

Can colour be curative?

London, 6 Oct 1917 - A curious experiment is being carried out on a ward at a military hospital for officers in London.

Howard Kemp Prosser, a designer and colour specialist, is testing the practical effects of colour on the wellbeing of patients.

The ward has been decorated so that the first impression on entering is of lemon and gold sunlight. This is complemented by the Italian blue ceiling. ‘Blue is more soothing than any colour’, Mr Prosser asserts. ‘Patients lying in bed will see the blueness, which symbolises freedom and space.’ Touches of violet in the sofa cushions and curtains are good for the nerves.

If the patients show any improvements, which Mr Prosser fully expects, he intends to apply his technique to other hospital wards.

The experiment is being carried out completely at his own expense.

[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]


Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.