Monday, February 19, 2018

A New Book



The Edward Gorey exhibition Gorey's Worlds at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art is on display February 10 - March 6, 2018. The exhibition will also be mounted at the Tacoma Art Museum from June 23 - September 30, 2018. Long after this interesting exhibition closes, the accompanying book Gorey's Worlds (Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, in association with Princeton University Press, 160 pages, 2018) by curator Erin Monroe will be a vital reference for those interested in Mr. Gorey's works.

The lavishly illustrated volume focus on the portion of Edward Gorey's personal art collection which the artist bequeathed to the Wadsworth upon his passing in April 2000.  The gift of 73 paintings, prints, and drawings provides unique insight into the art that excited and inspired Mr. Gorey daily. Supplementing the gifted works are works by Mr. Gorey himself. Visual and contextual comparisons are made in the volume's four essays by various contributors, each of which highlights a different aspect of the exhibition.

Gorey's Worlds can be ordered from the Wadsworth HERE.




Sunday, February 4, 2018

The Worsted Monster



The Worsted Monster is an enigmatic work, or works, by Edward Gorey. Begun in the 1950's and never published (or completed?), the first incarnation of The Worsted Monster is a self proclaimed Medieval Tale that features a cast of male characters and one large dragon, presumably the monster itself. A completely revised tale which shares the same title appeared in the June 1975 issue of National Lampoon Magazine as a toy theater, complete with sets, Dramatis Personae, and a libretto (see my post from August 136, 2013).

Several pieces of artwork from the 1950's version were displayed at The Edward Gorey House in 2016 as part of their Artifacts from the Archives exhibit. This exhibit reunited interior drawings from this book that remain in the Gorey archives with this dust wrapper design that was borrowed from a private collection. The dust wrapper artwork is now in my collection.

An interesting characteristic of this piece of art is that the title was reworked by Edward Gorey and a changed version was pasted over the original title. When I acquired the piece, the seventy year old glue used on the paste-up had dried out and the title was in danger of becoming detached from the surface of the artwork. As part of my conservation of the piece, I gently removed the paste-up which revealed the original title drawing. After documenting the original version, the revised title has been repositioned using archival materials.

Surprisingly, there are only slight variations between the two titles. The original version uses more color and the hand lettered type on the scroll is less formal. The angle of the scroll has also been altered slightly in the new version. This is a clear example of Edward Gorey's attention to balance and detail in his art. The newer, more monochromatic title gives more emphasis to the colorful gentleman and dragon. The cover of the book, as shown in the cropped photo above, has a pleasing composition. Presumably, had this title been published, Mr. Gorey would have also hand lettered the title for the spine of the book and added that to the center of the drawing. It is also worth noting that this would have been a very large book if published life sized to the artwork since the cover would have been 11 1/2" tall.





Friday, January 26, 2018

Gorey Biography



The new biography of Edward Gorey by author Mark Dery has its cover. Watch for this upcoming publication to arrive in Fall 2018.


Friday, January 19, 2018

Gorey Exhibition


Need ta break from your winter dull drums? Refresh yourself with a visit to the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut and take in their exhibition, Gorey's Worlds. The exhibition, which opens on February 10 and continues through May 6, will showcase artwork that inspired Edward Gorey and informed his personal work.

After Edward Gorey passed away in 2000, the Wadsworth received a legacy from the artist of 73 art pieces that he collected and lived with in his Cape Cod home. The prints, photographs, and drawings range in date from the 19th century to the 1980's. The exhibition will give viewers an extraordinary insight into the artwork that inspired Mr. Gorey and that he viewed daily in his home. This is the first time since their donation that the pieces are being exhibited.

Also included in the exhibition will be original art by Edward Gorey that has been culled from the Gorey Archives and several collectors.

The core exhibition will travel to the Tacoma Art Museum from June 23 - September 30, 2018. A catalog of the exhibition will be forthcoming. For more information on the Wadsworth, the exhibition, and related programming at the museum go HERE.

Artwork shown above: Haunted America by Edward Gorey: watercolor, pen & ink 1990. The Woman and the Bear by Edvard Munch, lithograph 1908-9. Passageway by Eugene Atget, gelatin silver print, N.d..


Monday, January 8, 2018

I is for Influence



Author Sue Grafton, an author of a detective novels, passed away on December 28th at the age of 77. Her detective series had an alphabetical theme, beginning with A is for Alibi published in 1982, and continued through her final novel Y is for Yesterday published in 2017. Ms. Grafton had intended to end the series with Z is for Zero but had not begun writing the book at the time of her death.

According to her New York Times obituary, Ms. Grafton credited Edward Gorey's 1963 work The Gashlycrumb Tinies as her inspiration for the alphabetical structure of the series:

“I was smitten with all those little Victorian children being dispatched in various ways,” she told The New York Times in 2015. “ ‘A is for Amy who fell down the stairs; B is for Basil assaulted by bears; C is for Clara who wasted away; D is for Desmond thrown out of a sleigh.’ Edward Gorey was deliciously bent.”

I is for inspiration!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Dick Cavett Interview


If one pokes around the YouTube universe, you can find several filmed sequences of Edward Gorey being interviewed. All are entertaining and give insights into Mr. Gorey's personality. Of particular interest is the November 30, 1977 interview Mr. Gorey gave on the Dick Cavett show.

Edward Gorey does not appear particularly at ease during the interview, but his recent success on Broadway with Dracula has put him in the spotlight. He often fidgets in his chair and produces several loud, nervous coughs during his half hour chat with Mr. Cavett. It is an interview that is worth viewing however. When given the opportunity to expound on a subject, Mr. Gorey is informative and entertaining, and his hands are fascinating to watch for their expressiveness, especially in repose.

The typescript of the full interview has been published in the book Ascending Peculiarity, but spending the half hour with Edward Gorey in person adds a layer of depth to the interview that is not present in the transcript. While watching the interview, it is easy to see how Edward Gorey could be played successfully on film by actor Jim Parsons. The full interview can be viewed here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cng3K8FGj28&index=4&list=PL5ZxYsLy1tzGBy6dFBLWE6YsBuk4Yzi3E



Sunday, December 31, 2017

Welcome 2018



In with the New Year!