2010 Bookseller Resource Guide
New Lithographs on View at The Huntington
2009-10-09 When a young German playwright developed a new printmaking process in the 1790s, little did he know that his discovery would start a communication revolution. Lithography, or flat-surface printing, transformed the exchange of information and everyday life for the next century and beyond. This technique gave rise to modern product advertising and consumer culture; brought art, literature, and music to the masses; educated a growing middle class; and turned commercial printing from a craft into an industry. This major exhibition presents about 250 examples of 19th-century American lithography from The Huntington’s Jay T. Last collection of lithographic and social history. Advertising posters, art prints, calendars, certificates, children’s books, color-plate illustrations, historical views, product labels, sales catalogs, sheet music, toys, games, and trade cards are just some of the artifacts that will be included in this comprehensive exhibition.

Jay T. Last
“We live today in a sea of color images—printed and electronic—and we find it hard to imagine a time when reproductions in color were a prized commodity,” writes lithography collector Jay T. Last in his award-winning book “The Color Explosion: Nineteenth-Century American Lithography” (Hillcrest Press, 2005). Last’s exhaustive volume, documenting the history of hundreds of American lithographic businesses, is testimony to his passion for and knowledge of lithography’s impact on American consumer culture. His collection of 135,000 objects is a gift in progress to The Huntington. The enormous scope of the material—complemented by The Huntington’s holdings in European and American printmaking, book illustration, and design; photography (particularly of California and the West); and cartography—makes The Huntington an important center for scholarship in the field of graphic arts. Last received a doctorate in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was one of the founders of Fairchild Semiconductor Corp.

On view Oct. 17, 2009–Feb 22, 2010

1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, California 91108 - www.huntington.org