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Guide to the Kistler Printing and Lithography Collection, 1922-1975
SC/KPL  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Biographical Information:
  • Access Terms
  • Administrative Information
  • Arrangement of Materials:
  • Scope and Contents

  • Overview of the Collection

    Collection Title: Kistler Printing and Lithography Collection
    Dates: 1922-1975
    Identification: SC/KPL
    Creator: Kistler, William A.
    Physical Description: 2.39 linear feet
    Language of Materials: English
    Repository: Special Collections
    Abstract: William A. Kistler established a printing business in Los Angeles in 1910. After World War I he purchased a lithography firm where both he and his son practiced lithography for several years. The collection contains the commercial work of Kistler Printing and Lithography from the 1920s to 1970s, including proof sheets and paste-ups from Fifty Photographs (1947), First Penthouse Dwellers of America (1938), and Dance Memoranda (1946).

    Biographical Information:

    William A. Kistler established a printing business in Los Angeles in 1910. After World War I he purchased a lithography firm. His son, Lynton Kistler (1897-1993), learned offset lithography there in the late 1920s, and also began working on lithographic stones. He was one of a few local printers who became proficient with this process. Merle Armitage and Jean Charlot were his first customers. In 1932 Kistler printed Armitage’s The Work of Maier-Krieg (NB 588 M25 A7)  using the offset process. Vernon Grant’s graphic art appears on several advertisements for the company during the 1930s.
    In 1936, William Kistler sold his business, but Lynton continued making lithographs out of his garage studio. After briefly opening his own business, he moved to New York in 1941 where he worked in the printing trade. While working for Blanchard Press in New York he published a pamphlet on airplane profile recognition. On returning to Los Angeles in 1945, he resumed working on projects for Merle Armitage who brought him more work from other artists such as Edward Weston, Millard Sheets, and Warren Newcombe and his wife Beatrice Wood.
    Kistler stopped making lithographs in 1952 because of an allergic reaction he developed to the acids used in lithography, and the expense of working on stone. He turned to more commercial printing and purchased a plant at 1653 West Temple Street in Los Angeles. The business prospered and his financial situation improved. In 1970, he sold this plant to purchase a larger facility at Washington and Normandie Boulevards. He sold the business in 1976 and retired from commercial printing.

    Access Terms

    This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

    Corporate Name:

    Kistler Printing and Lithography

    Genre/Form of Material:

    Photographic material

    Topical Term:

    Lithographers -- California -- Los Angeles
    Lithography -- California -- Los Angeles -- 20th century

    Administrative Information

    Accruals:

    1976

    Processing Information:

    Tony Gardner

    Conditions Governing Use:

    Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has not been transferred to California State University, Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

    Conditions Governing Access:

    The collection is open for research use.

    Electronic Format:

    Digital reproductions of selected items in this collection are available electronically as a part of the San Fernando Valley History Digital Library.  For more information please see https://digital-library.csun.edu/.  

    Preferred Citation:

    For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style manual, or see the Citing Archival Materials  guide.

    Arrangement of Materials:

    Series I: Print Jobs, 1922-1971
        Subseries A: General, 1924-1965
        Subseries B: Books, 1925-1928, 1938, 1946
        Subseries C: Cards, 1930, 1950, 1971
        Subseries D: Catalogs, Programs, and Exhibitions, 1948-1968
        Subseries E: Multiple Print Jobs for the Same Firm, 1922-1971
    Series II: Printing Materials, 1975

    Scope and Contents

    The Kistler Printing and Lithography Collection contains the commercial work of Kistler Printing and Lithography from the 1920s to the mid-1970s. Notable contents includes proof sheets and paste-ups from Fifty Photographs (1947), First Penthouse Dwellers of America (1938), and Dance Memoranda (1946) that Lynton Kistler produced with Merle Armitage, as well as eight lithographs he made for artists. The collection has been divided into two main series: Print Jobs (1922-1971) and Printing Materials (1975).
    Series I, Print Jobs, consists of five subseries arranged by print jobs or genre. Subseries A, General (1924-1965), Books (1925-1928, 1938, 1946), Cards (1930, 1950, 1971), Catalogs, Programs, and Exhibitions (1948-1968), and Multiple Print Jobs for the Same Firm (1922-1971). The roman number-Arabic number following the title is penciled on the piece and likely refers to the exhibition order since many of these pieces were displayed in 1975. Materials are filed alphabetically within each subseries.
    Series II, Printing Materials, contains printing plates, a paper sampler, and a small amount of manuscript material.
    Posters and other large flat works are organized in a flat file drawer.