Smithsonian Commissions America in Color


Smithsonian Channel has ordered a new five-hour series from Arrow Media that colorizes a century of black-and-white footage to show America’s history.

America in Color, done in 4K resolution, spans five decades, from the 1920s to the ’60s. To guarantee the authentic feel of the footage and to ensure it was colorized as accurately as possible, the original colors were researched to confirm the right tones from the eras they were used. The Arrow Media team sourced material from obscure archives and forgotten family vaults, along with diving into Smithsonian’s own archives.

David Royle, the executive VP of programming and production at Smithsonian Channel, said, “Arrow Media producers are masterful storytellers, and everything they do has a hallmark of quality. This is one of our most important commissions—it’s a landmark series that puts the color back into history and transports viewers into a past that once seemed gray and distant, but now is vibrant and compelling. We are just delighted that Arrow took on this exciting project.”

Tom Brisley, creative director at Arrow Media, added, “This series shows America as never seen before. Arrow is breathing new life into American history—taking stories that everybody thinks they know and telling them in a compelling new way that is instantly relatable. We have covered some of the most dramatic and iconic moments in 20th Century America, with rare footage that now feels fresh and modern but also highly authentic—thanks to the scrupulously accurate work of our colorization team. Their work has allowed Arrow to extend its trademark storytelling strengths. We’re also delighted to continue building our excellent relationship with the Smithsonian Channel, and we look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.”