SAN LUIS OBISPO - Cal Poly Graphic Communication Department alumni Tom Goglio and Mark Barbour will present a demonstration of stone lithography at the Oct. 15 premiere of "The Color Explosion: 19th Century American Lithography from the Jay T. Last Collection." The exhibit will be open to the public Oct. 17 through Feb. 22, 2010 at the Huntington Library in Pasadena, Calif.
The exhibit will feature the collection of Jay T. Last, one of the world's largest collections of 19th century American lithography with approximately 135,000 individual pieces. This is the first public showing of this collection, which includes close to 200 examples of circus posters, commercial labels and other print ephemera of the era.
"This exhibit is a must-see for those interested in communication history, print and purely beautiful graphic arts," said Goglio. "This exhibit brings to light the heretofore forgotten excellence of the masters of this highly technical media. The curators hope that the public will take away a better understanding of this almost magical media and the dedication of those who mastered it."
Even within the print and communication industry, few have a thorough knowledge of how these pieces were created, said Goglio. "While 'art' lithography on stone is still practiced, the commercial use of this medium all but disappeared at the beginning of the 20th century. With this disappearance, most of the records and knowledge employed in the creation of these fine works have also disappeared. I am excited to be able to help interpret this very rich and important collection and to be asked to bring life to such an important part of American history."
The exhibit precedes the opening of a new lithographic wing of the International Printing Museum in Carson, Calif. The addition of this lithographic collection will bring the International Printing Museum into line as one of the world's most complete and well-rounded printing museums.
Goglio is both an alumnus and retired professor of Cal Poly's Graphic Communication Department and a former faculty adviser to the university's Shakespeare Press Museum. The Shakespeare Press Museum is a collection of 19th century California gold rush printing equipment and is one of the largest working printing museums west of the Rocky Mountains. As a master lithographer, Goglio spent many years researching the techniques of the late 19th century commercial lithographic trade.
Barbour is a 1988 Cal Poly graduate. He was a student curator of the Shakespeare Press Museum and went on to a career in printing history as the executive director of the International Printing Museum.