Max Saltzman was born on April 17, 1917 in Brooklyn, NY. He received a B.S. degree in chemistry from the College of the City of New
York in 1936. During World War II, he was in civilian service with the Chemical Warfare Service. Following the war, he joined the
technical staff of Harmon Colors (later a part of Allied Chemical Corporation). From 1945 to 1961 he served in various research and
development positions in the field of color pigments and color measurement. From 1961 to 1973 he held several management
positions at the corporate headquarters of Allied in Morristown, New Jersey. He retired as manager of color technology in 1973.
Saltzman was also an Adjunct Professor for 20 years at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Color Measurement Laboratory. He was
the co-author of the 1966 classic ''Principles of Color Technology'' (2nd Ed. 1981) which was later updated by R. Berns. The book's
philosophy reflected his penchant for quality control and common sense.
After retirement he was able to devote his full attention to his passion for colorants and their history. His interest began during the
early 1950s while at Harmon Colors. He was often consulted on color and colorant issues by New York City museums such as the
Museum of Natural History.
In 1973 Saltzman moved to Los Angeles and established a color laboratory in the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at the
University of California at Los Angeles. Through this new laboratory, he performed research on ancient dyestuffs and the
applications of color technology to art conservation science. A Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and
Artistic Works, he was asked to present the George L. Stout Memorial Lecture in 1984, one of their most prestigious honors.
In 1986, he received the Macbeth Award from the Inter-Society Color Council for his pioneering research in dye identification of
ancient textiles. The ISCC voted to give him the 2001 Godlove Award for his lifelong contributions to the field of color. He was also a
member of the American Chemical Society, the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists, the Society of Plastics
Engineers, the Optical Society of America, the Society of Dyers and Colourists (U.K.), The Colour Group (U.K.), the Dry Color
Manufacturers Association, the Los Angeles Society for Coatings Technology, and the Federation of Societies for Paint Technology.
In 1967, he received the Federation’s Armin J. Bruning Award.
Saltzman died on February 26, 2001 in Los Angeles after a period of declining health. He was survived by his wife Barbara Fish, M.D.,
his son Mark and two grandchildren. A fund was established in Saltzman’s memory to support student research in art conservation
science using color technology. It was known as Saltzman Fund at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Center for Imaging Science,
Rochester, New York.
Source: Adapted from Obituary of Max Saltzman, New York Times, April 1, 2001
|Max Saltzman, Color Scientist (1917-2001)
Photo: Color Research and Application, August 2001