Twenty-six years ago, Toothpaste Press changed its name to Coffee House Press, the only slightly less jocular name giving no clue to its becoming one of the nation's most highly regarded literary publishers.

The Minnesota Center for Book Arts is celebrating the press' 40 years of history with an exhibit, "Coffee House Press & Toothpaste Press: From Letterpress to E-Book." A program and reception will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Open Book, 1011 Washington Av. S., Minneapolis. Emilie Buchwald will introduce Allan Kornblum, who founded Toothpaste Press in the early 1970s.

The exhibit will feature original letterpress productions from both presses and a retrospective of Coffee House Press books, including the international bestseller "Firmin" by Sam Savage and the 2010 National Book Award finalist, "I Hotel" by Karen Tei Yamashita.

As editor and publisher at Coffee House Press, Kornblum has published more than 275 trade books and 35 letterpress books and pamphlets. In 1997, he received an American Book Award for Special Achievement.

The exhibit will be in place through Jan. 9, and be part of the MCBA's Ninth Annual Book Arts Festival on Nov. 20.