Friday, January 11, 2019

Mary Rogers

Born on this date in 1931, Mary Rogers (January 11, 1931 to June 26, 2014) was a musical theater composer, performer, and the author of four children's books. Three of her four children's books have cover designs by Edward Gorey.

Freaky Friday (published by Harper and Row, 1972) tells the story of a day when thirteen year old Annabel Andrews and her mother switch bodies by unexplained means. The switch is initiated by Mrs. Andrews as an object lesson for her daughter, who through the course of the day comes to appreciate her mother and herself more fully.

A Billion for Boris (published by Harper and Row, 1974) once again visits the Andrews family. This time, Annabel, her boyfriend Boris, and brother Ben known as "Ape Face". When Annabel's brother fixes a broken television set, the TV shows programming from the future. Boris tries to make some money betting on upcoming horse races, while Annabel tries to help people who will fall victim to future ill fortune. Ape Face just wants to watch the forbidden afternoon Creature Feature program.

The third installment, Summer Switch (Harper and Row, 1982) once again finds the Andrews family switching bodies, this time Ape Face and his father simultaneously wish they were in each others shoes, and once again a day long adventure ensues.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

The Name On Everybody's Lips Is Gonna Be, GOREY!

Since its publication in early November, Born to be Posthumous, The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genious of Edward Gorey by author Mark Dery has started a veritable avalanche of reviews, articles, and chat group discussions about Edward Gorey. There seems to be no stopping the rockslide, and for better or worse here are links to a number of the musings:

New York Times Book Review, Sunday January 6, 2019

The Atlantic, December 28, 2018

The New Yorker, December 10, 2018

New York Times, October 30, 2018

The New Republic, November 30, 2018

New York Times, December 31, 2018

New York Times, January 4, 2019

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

New Yorker Cover

The December 10, 2018 issue of the New Yorker magazine featured a previously unknown drawing by Edward Gorey on its cover. The art was one of two pieces submitted by Mr. Gorey in 1992, but remained unpublished until last month (full story:

This deliciously complex drawing of two pampered cats relaxing in an overwrought Laura Ashley-style bedroom is an amusing visual commentary on the dizzying use of fabrics in layers found in "country chic" decorating. Hopefully, the Edward Gorey Charitable Trust will issue this image as a jigsaw puzzle in the near future.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas!

from Goreyana

Monday, December 10, 2018

More Auction News

On December 17th, Sotheby's will be offering the original artwork from Theoda, a complete 'A Collection" book by Edward Gorey. This is a unique opportunity since primary works by Mr. Gorey form the backbone of his archives and are not generally sold. Original artwork from only two other 'A Collection' books, The Broken Spoke and Leaves From A Mislaid Album have ever been sold. Theoda was created in 1966 when it appeared in Status Magazine. The story eventually appeared in Amphigorey Also in 1983, under the new title The Tuning Fork. A signed/numbered limited edition book of this title was published in 1990 by The Fantod Press (

Originally slated to be auctioned by Sotheby's on December 13, 2011, this suite of 14 drawings (plus two additional pages) was pulled at the last minute and has only recently been cleared for sale - see my postings from November 30, 2011, December 7 & 15, 2011 for information on the previous sale.

The Sotheby's listing for this lot can be a bit difficult to locate, but can be found by going to  and going to lot 166. It seems to only appear online when looking at the actual Print Catalog for the Fine Books and Manuscripts Online.

NOTE: This item appears to have been withdrawn (once again) prior to the auction date.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Auction News

As the Fall Auction Season begins to wrap things up, Swann Auction Galleries in New York City held its semi-annual Illustration Auction featuring over 284 lots of original artwork. Included in the sale were four delightful pieces by Edward Gorey.

The first piece offered was a whimsical color piece showing two pigs eating truffles and drinking champagne under a sunny yellow umbrella in the company of a dapper gentleman. None of the participants are in the least bothered that they are reposing in squishy mud. This delightful piece realized a very respectable price as the hammer fell.

The next two pieces were originally created for The Dream World of Dion McGregor. This unusual book chronicles, as the title suggests, the dreams of the author who not only has some fantastic nocturnal happenings in his head, but also narrated the dreams aloud as he slept. The dreams were recorded, transcribed, and masterfully illustrated by Edward Gorey. The first piece, TYN (The Thumb Your Nose club) failed to sell. The second piece titled Peony (see the photo at the top of this post) inspired spirited bidding and topped its high estimate. This microcosm of a drawing  - it is only 1.5" x 2.5" - is a miniature Gorey masterpiece. Simply executed, the expressions and attitudes of the three children speak volumes.

The final piece, Common Good Wrestles Bitter Grudge and Purple Rage, is an unusual Gorey illustration from Alvin Steadfast and Vernacular Island from 1965. The final sale price fell precisely in the center of its estimate.

The Spring and early Winter illustration auctions at Swann offer fantastic opportunities to acquire one of a kind works by major and less well known illustrators. The selection of works by Edward Gorey at the sales remains exemplary.