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Rare Book School at the University of Virginia

I-70. Lithography: The Popularization of Printing in the c19

Instructor to be announced

Aimed at those concerned with books, prints, and ephemera, especially of the first two-thirds of the c19. Topics: Senefelder and the discovery of lithography; lithographic stones and presses; the work of the lithographic draftsman, letterer, and printer; the trade; early lithographed books and other printing; the development of particular genres, including music printing; chromolithography.

This course aims to approach the subject from several different directions and to bridge traditional boundaries between printing history, bibliography, the history of printmaking, design history, and ephemera studies.

Sessions will focus on the first half of the c19. They will cover: the invention of lithography; equipment and materials; some early treatises on the process; pictorial prints; lithographed books, music, and ephemera; the spread of the trade in Europe; and the relationship of lithography to color printing generally. Also included will be discussion of: the graphic characteristics of lithography; the development of the process; pictures and letterforms; some leading figures; and questions associated with identifying, describing, and studying lithographed items.

Each topic will be introduced by an illustrated lecture or less formal talk. In all sessions, however, the aim is to be as interactive as the situation and size of class permits. There will be plenty of time for discussion and, wherever possible, items from the University of Virginia Library will be made available to provide an opportunity for an element of connoisseurship. It is hoped that a practical demonstration of lithography will be arranged.

The course makes no specific requirements of participants, although some understanding of how lithography works and of the history of graphic images and printing processes is desirable. In their personal statement, applicants should give an indication of their background and interest in the field.

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