Norman W. Forgue / Black Cat Press archives

Inclusive Dates: 

This record forms part of the Chicago’s Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource project funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art. For this project, the Archives surveyed archival repositories throughout the Chicago region to identify art-related materials contained in their holdings. While the Archives of American Art does not own any of the materials described herein, information about those materials and links to the original repositories have been included when available.

Descriptive Summary

Unprocessed. The collection includes correspondence, books, letterhead samples, keepsakes and small press publications, announcements etc., exhibition catalogues, ephemera, sketches, bookplates, certificates, and other materials documenting Norman W. Forgue’s Black Cat Press and other small presses of the mid-20th century. Correspondents include numerous influential designers and illustrators, among them Douglas McMurtrie, Will Ransom, William A. Kittredge, R. Hunter Middleton, Bruce Rogers, and Dard Hunter.

Biographical Historical Note

Fine printer Norman W. Forgue was working for Douglas McMurtrie at Ludlow Typographic Company when he started Black Cat Press in 1932. It produced more than 300 titles in its 42-year history, winning numerous awards from the American Institute of Graphic Arts and other graphic arts organizations.

Additional Notes

Related collections: William A. Kittredge Papers, Douglas C. McMurtrie Papers, Robert Hunter Middleton Papers and R. Hunter Middleton letters, Will Ransom Papers, Bruce Rogers Papers, all Newberry Library; Norman Press Collection, Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center.