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Inkwell Press Collection

Collection Number
SC 397

OCLC Number

Vincent Torre

This collection was donated by Vincent Torre in 2005.

Extent, Scope, and Content Note 
The collection is comprised of 12 cubic feet of printed works, proofs, correspondence, textiles, and wood blocks used in the creation of wood prints and books.  The materials date from 1961 to 2005.

Arrangement and Processing Note
Processed by F. Jason Torre in January 2006.
Finding aid revised and updated by Kristen J. Nyitray in April 2014 and July 2019.

The collection is organized by series. The original order has been retained. 

Series 1: General Works, 1968-2003: original writings and correspondence from the press.
Series 2: Prose and Poetry Works, 1967-2005: original poetry and prose works.
Series 3: Bound Proofs, 1947-2002: bound page proofs from Inkwell press.
Series 4: Ink Drawings, 1961-2005: hand-bound, ink drawing, press books. Each book is a separate title created based on an overlying artistic theme. These titles do not have the colophon of Inkwell but are considered published works.
Series 5: Pencil Drawings, 1967-1992: hand-bound, pencil drawings and sketch books.
Series 6: Portfolios, 1981-1991: portfolios of unbound, loose works of ink and pen, referred to in publishing terms as ‘blads.’
Series 7: Printing Plates and Blocks, undated: aluminum lithographic plates and carved wood block used in printmaking.


Restrictions on Access
The collection is open to researchers without restriction.

Rights and Permissions 
Stony Brook University Libraries' consent to access as the physical owner of the collection does not address copyright issues that may affect publication rights. It is the sole responsibility of the user of Special Collections and University Archives materials to investigate the copyright status of any given work and to seek and obtain permission where needed prior to publication.  

[Item], [Box], Inkwell Press Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Stony Brook University Libraries.

Historical Note
Excerpted from a promotional packet prepared by Vincent Torre, 1997.

"I have been painting since the age of 13. I studied with Sidney Laufman, Wallace Harrison and Josef Albers, and at the Academia di Belle Arti, Rome, where I painted for a year and had a one-man show at the Teatro dei Satiri. I had my first one-man show at the Norfolk (Virginia) Museum in 1953 while serving in the Navy. Subsequently, I had several one-man shows and took part in many group shows. In 1989-1990 I was artist-in-residence at the William Steeple Davis House in Orient village. Working in Davis' old carriage house studio, I completed 45 paintings of the area, with particular emphasis on the classic picket fences to be found in the village. The resulting show at the Oysterponds Historical Society was aptly titled “Fences.” Recent exhibitions in eastern Long Island include: The Mattituck/Laurel Library; The East End Arts Council, Riverhead; the Cook Pony Farm office, Sag Harbor; the Art-trim in Melville, sponsored by the Huntington Arts Council; and at Martha Clara Vineyards. After having painted in places as different as Maine, London and Fame, I find the North Fork suits me and my work. It is a perfect place for artists who want to transfer their vision of nature to paper, canvas or stone. In Mattituck, my studio is a converted chicken coop. I show my work in the big white barn behind the house where we have lived since 1997. Visitors are always welcome."

From the website

"Vincent Torre was seven years old when he made his first miniature hand-sewn books. In his teens, he made copies calligraphically or with individual pieces of type carved in wood and printed one letter at a time. While serving in the US Navy, 1951-1954, stationed on the USS Orion, he printed his first books under the imprint of The Inkwell Press. During his Navy career, he produced a total of 12 titles on Navy equipment, in small editions of six to 20 copies. After his discharge, he acquired a hundred-year-old hand press and a Vandercook press, on which he printed over 60 titles in 50 years of activity. His biggest project, which took 12 years to complete, was four companion volumes of his own fables and poems, printed from handset type and illustrated with 80 full-colored woodcuts printed from the blocks. Torre binds all Inkwell Press books by hand. Besides being represented in many private collections, Inkwell Press books are in the special collections of: The British Library; The New York Public Library; The Yale Library; Stony Brook University; The Kerlan Collection, Minneapolis; The University of Kentucky; Texas Christian University; Duke University; The University of Sydney, Australia; and others. The British Library and the University of Delaware Library have recently acquired a full set of his Fable books and other Inkwell Press productions. He has received many awards and favorable reviews in: The Five Owls; Bookman's Weekly; Fine Print; The Pentatette; Book Design and Production (Britain); Publishers Weekly; Attenzione Magazine; Printing History. Torre was staff designer at Alfred A. Knopf, Publishers, 1959-1964; and free-lance designer for most of the New York publishers in a career of over 45 years. "Charles Dickens His Journal of a Journey from London to Canterbury in the Year 1830, Adapted from His Works and Edited by Vincent Torre" was published by George Braziller in 2010. This book received an award from the World Dickens Fellowship.

Artists' books.
Private press books.
Animals -- Poetry.
Fables, American.
American poetry.


Series 1: General Works

Box 1

Correspondence, etc., in the production of A Tribute to W.A. Dwiggins, undated
The Traveler Watchman, undated
History of Pearl Street, undated
History of Pearl Street (copy 2 is typescript with corrections), undated
Prince and the Stable Boy, 1968
The Trouble with Poetry May 1994

Box 2

Notes on Book Design, 1972
Notes on Book Design (copy 2 is typescript with corrections), 1972
Vincent Torre (notes), 2002-2003

Series 2: Prose and Poetry Works

Box 3

Limericks, 1970-1972, 1983-1984
New Limericks,1989-1990; Poems & Fables, 1991
Limericks, 1992-1993
Limericks, 1995
Limericks, 1996
Limericks, 1996

Box 4

Limericks, 1996-1997
Limericks, 1997
Limericks, 1998
Limericks, 1998
Limericks, 1999
Limericks, 1999
Limericks, 2000

Box 5

Limericks, 2000-2001
Limericks, 2001
Limericks, 2001
Limericks, 2001-2002
Limericks, 1970-2002

Box 6

Poems, 1969-1971
Tales and Fables book 1, 1984
Tales and Fables book 2, 1985
Tales and Fables book 3, 1987-1989
Verses and Fables, 1990-1991
Poems and Fables, 1991
Why cats like to eat Mice: An Italian Folktale narrated by Struglia Fiorentini. Written in English by Vincent Torre, 1967

Box 7

Lyrics and Ballads, 1972
Poems and Fables, 1994
Rhymes and Fables,1994
Rhymes and Fables, 1995
Inklings I, 2004
Inklings II, 2004
Inklings III, 2004-2005
Inklings IV, 2005

Series 3: Bound Proofs

Box 8

A Book of Fables, Fables from Aesop and Original fables written and illustrated by Vincent Torre, undated
Complete Limericks, undated
Complete Poems, 1973-1984
Fables, 1984-1985

Box 9

Fables, 1985-1986
Fables, 1987-1989
Fables, 1987-1989
The Italian Commedia dell’ arte, 1982

Box 10

The Leaping Knight, undated
Limericks, 1970-2002
Limericks, 1970-2002 (copy 2)
Moses and the Meyers House Ghost, undated
Moses and the Meyers House Ghost (illustrated), undated

Box 11

Poems and Fables, 1991
Poems for Children, undated
Rhymes and Fables, 1984-1995
Seasons: Poems, 1947-1972

Box 12

Verse and Fable, 1991-1992
Wander Wood and other Poems for Children, undated
Limericks, 1970-2002
Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, Sept.-Oct. 1995
Poems by William Shakespeare, Vincent Torre MCMLI

Series 4: Ink Drawings

Box 13

Vincent Torre, 1961
Vincent Torre, 1961
Drawings, 1973
Drawings in Ink, 1981
Drawings, 1990 (pencil and ink)
Drawings, 1991

Box 14

Ink Drawings, 1995
Ink Drawings, 1995
Ink Drawings, 1996

Box 15

Ink Drawings, June-July 1996
Ink Drawings, August 1996
Ink Drawings, April-June 1998

Box 16

Ink Drawings, May-June 1999
Ink Drawings, 2001
Ink Drawings, 2001

Box 17

Ink Drawings, 2001
Ink Drawings, June-July 2001
Ink Drawings, 2001

Box 18

Ink Drawings, 2001
Ink Drawings, 2001
Ink Drawings, 2001

Box 19

Ink Drawings, 2002
Ink Drawings, 2002
Ink Drawings, 2002

Box 20

Ink Drawings, 2003
Ink Drawings, 2003
Ink Drawings, 2003
Ink Drawings, 2003

Box 21

Ink Drawings, 2003
Ink Drawings, 2003
Ink, 2003

Box 22 – Oversize books

Ink Drawings, 2000
Ink Drawings, 2002
Ink Drawings, 2002

Box 23 – Oversize books

Ink Drawings, 2004
Ink Drawings, 2004
Ink Drawings, 2004

Box 24 – Oversize books

Ink Drawings, 2004
Ink Drawings, 2004

Box 25 – Oversize books

Ink Drawings, 2004
Ink Drawings, 2004

Box 26 – Oversize books

Ink Drawings, 2005
Ink Drawings, 2005

Box 26A – Oversize books

Ink Drawings, 2006
Ink Drawings, 2008

Box 26B – Oversize books

Ink Drawings, 2008
Ink Drawings, 2008

Series 5: Pencil Drawings

Box 27

Vincent Torre May 1992
Vincent Torre, 1989
Vincent Torre, 1987
Vincent Torre, 1986
Vincent Torre, 1981-1982
Vincent Torre, 1967

Series 6: Portfolios

Box 28

Portfolio, 1981 (ink)
Portfolio, 1981 (ink)
Portfolio, 1981 (ink)

Box 29

Ink Drawings by Vincent Torre, 1988
Ink Drawings by Vincent Torre, 1991

Series 7: Printing Plates and Blocks

Box 30

16 carved wood blocks from the ‘Nudes’ title.

Box 31

28 carved wood blocks from the ‘Nudes’ title.

Box 32

4 carved wood blocks of ‘flowers.’

Box 33

7 carved wood blocks of ‘flowers.’

Box 34

4 oversized carved wood blocks of ‘flowers.’

Box 35

1 carved wood block of ‘field.’

14 carved wood block of ‘carousel horse.’

Box 36

56 lithographic plates from the printing of “The Leaping Knight.”