Norman Tolson, the designer of the CB&Q Railroad poster was an early twentieth-century artist and
Tolson was in charge of design and interior decoration for Chicago’s Stevens Hotel, built in 1927. In
addition to designing the rooms and banquet halls, Tolson bought 6000 original etchings and paintings to
decorate the hotel. The Stevens is now (2010) the Chicago Hilton and Towers. John Paul Stevens, justice of
the Supreme Court of the United States came from the family that built and owned the hotel.
Book Illustrator, Painter, and Poster Designer
Tolson illustrated the book, The Strange Case of Eric Marotté; A Modern-Historical Problem-Romance
of Chicago, written by John Irving Pearce, Jr. One reviewer said the book lacked authenticity and
credibility but that, “the author gives an in-depth view of pre-World War I Goose Island, an industrial area
located in the North Fork of the Chicago River.” He also illustrated, The life of birds by Joel Carl Welty.
Tolson taught art at Kansas City Art Institute in the late 1920s and was a visiting artist at Beloit College in
1933 while he was in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the Layton Gallery.
Posters & Video