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Color explosion

Color Explosion exhibit poster
Color Explosion exhibit poster
Huntington Library

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The printmaking technique of lithography gained popularity in the 19th century as a process faster and cheaper than copper engraving or woodblock printing. When color lithography was introduced, it spread posters, books and sheet music to the masses. The vivid illustrations made possible by color lithography also gave rise to product branding and advertising. Jay T. Last holds the largest private collection of color lithography in America, and is donating it to The Huntington Library, which will showcase a selection beginning October 17. Larry Mantle discusses The Huntington's new exhibit "The Color Explosion: Nineteenth-Century American Lithography from the Jay T. Last Collection."


David Mihaly, curator of "The Color Explosion" exhibition, and curator of lithographic history and ephemera at The Huntington Library

Jay T. Last, physicist and founder of Fairchild Semiconductor Corp. He is an independent scholar of the history of lithography. His collection of about 135,000 lithographic objects- the largest private collection in the United States- is a promised gift to The Huntington Library

The exhibition is on view at The Huntington Oct. 17-Feb 22.