October 12, 2017
McRay Magleby (1941- ), Columbus 1492-1992, 1992, lithograph, 34 1/4 x 21 7/8 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, 1916.
Today we recognize the actual date that Columbus arrived in the Americas in 1492. Initially, it was conjectured that Columbus had reached Asia’s eastern outskirts rather than a separate landmass yet unknown to the people of the Old World. Florentine explorer Amerigo Vespucci exposed this fallacy, and the New World came to be known as the Americas, derived from Vespucci’s first name.
McRay Magleby, a BYU Art Department graduate, was commissioned to create this print for a Harold B. Lee Library exhibition entitled “The Age of Exploration: An Exhibition Commemorating the Quincentennial of Christopher Columbus’ First Voyage to America.” Here, Magleby combines a colorful gradient background with the simplified form of Columbus’ vessel, the dates 1492-1992 alluding the staggering changes the Americas have witnessed since Columbus’ arrival.