Thursday, March 23, 2017

Auction News

On March 21, 2017 Swann Auction Galleries in New York City held its semi-annual Illustration Art auction. Showcased at the center of the auction was a selection of twelve pieces of original artwork (in eleven lots) by Edward Gorey. The artwork offered included published and previously unseen pieces by Mr. Gorey.

The original paintings and pen & ink drawings at this auction ran the gamut from early book cover designs created by Edward Gorey in the 1950's, to later theatrical set and costume designs. Of particular interest was a color portrait of Mr. Earbrass that sold for $11,875.00, which was double the pre-sale estimate. With a final price of $18,750.00, the stunning Mystery! themed piece appears to have set a new auction record for a piece of original artwork by Mr. Gorey.

Swann has become the go-to auction house for works by Edward Gorey. Since January 2013, they have offered hundreds of books, posters, and more than 55 original works (drawings, paintings, and fine art prints) by Mr. Gorey.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

At Home With Monsters

 The Minneapolis Institute of Art is currently hosting Guillermo Del Toro, At Home With Monsters , an exhibition which is on display through May 28th before heading to Canada. The exhibition displays Mr. Del Toro's collections of paintings and original illustration artwork alongside his very unusual home furnishings, artifacts, and film concept artwork. The entrance to the exhibition itself lets you know that this will not be a typical museum show.

Mr. Del Toro has has christened his Los Angeles home Bleak House and filled it with inspirational material and artwork. Among the art on display in the exhibition are several pieces of original artwork that Edward Gorey created for Penny Candy by Edward Fenton. The suite of four small drawings for the book are particularly entrancing. The amount of detail in these petite pieces is quite astounding.

In 2016, before the home was pillaged for the exhibition, Conan O'Brien sent Andy Richter off to film a tour of Bleak House guided by Guillermo Del Toro himself. The video focuses on the life sized figures (many of which are in the exhibition), but you get glimpses of the treasure trove of original art in the director's home. Those with quick eyes will spy part of one of the Gorey's shown above to the right of one of the life sized characters from Freaks.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Auction News

Swann Auction Galleries continues its tradition of semiannual Illustration Art auctions with the upcoming March 21 sale. Over the past several years, the Swann auctions have become the place to find rare and unusual original artwork by Edward Gorey.

This auction features eleven lots which include six book cover/dust wrapper designs as well as original artwork from Mr. Gorey's theatrical work. The works being offered span the decades from early 1950's works to mid career pieces from the 1970's and into the 1980's.

For more information on the auction go to

Monday, February 20, 2017


Originating from the University of California, Consumption magazine focused on poetry and is an appropriately titled publication to look for a cover drawn by Edward Gorey. In the summer of 1968, Mr. Gorey provided a cover design for Volume 1 Number 4 that features an unrecognized poet who is reduced to eating his writing to survive. The coffin shaped framing device surrounding him like a doorway hints at his impending doom.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy V.D.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Etching Exhibition

There is still time to visit E is for Elephants: The Etchings of Edward Gorey at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. The exhibition highlights Edward Gorey's etchings and collographs and includes prints, working materials, and related ephemera. The exhibition runs through February 7. Gallery and exibition information can be found HERE.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Anthologies by Seon Manley and Gogo Lewis

Throughout his career, Edward Gorey created dust wrapper designs for a number of book series, the longest association being the 22 covers he created for the series started by John Bellairs and continued by Brad Stickland. Mr. Gorey also created covers for several authors who specialized in sinister anthologies.

Beginning in the early 1960's, Seon Manley and Gogo Lewis compiled over twenty anthologies which included subjects ranging from the natural world and science. Their main focus however, was collecting and publishing anthologies of stories about ghosts and the supernatural. From 1973 to 1979, Edward Gorey created covers for eight titles by Manley & Lewis, all but one of which focused on tales by female authors.

Janet Helen "Seon" Givens (1921 - 2009) and Mona "Gogo" Givens (1923 - 2008) were sisters who were raised in Connecticut and began collecting books as children. After college, they moved to New York City and became familiar faces in literary circles. Seon married Robert Manley, and Gogo married William Lewis. The sisters drew inspiration for their anthologies from their private libraries and personal interests. This is a (probably incomplete) list of their published titles:

Titles which do not have Edward Gorey covers:

Teen-Age Treasury of Our Science World 1961
Teen-Age Treasury of Imagination and Discovery 1962
Mystery! A Treasury for Young Reader 1963
Teen Age Treasury of the Arts  1964
Merriment: A Treasury for Young Readers 1964
Suspense 1966
Magic! 1967
The Oceans 1967
High Adventure 1968
Polar Secrets 1968
A Gathering of Ghosts 1969
Shapes of the Supernatural 1969
Ladies of Horror 1971
Bewitched Beings 1974
Baleful Beasts  Bewitched Beings 1974 
Masters of the Macabre 1975
Masters of Shade and Shadows 1978
Christmas Ghosts 1978
Masters of Shades and Shadows 1978
Nature's Revenge  1978
Cat Encounters 1979
Haunted Dolls 1980

Titles with dust jacket designs by Edward Gorey:

Mistresses of Mystery 1973

Grand Dames of Detection 1973

Ladies of Fantasy 1975

Ladies of the Gothics 1975

Women of the Weird 1976

Sisters of Sorcery 1976

Ghostly Gentlewomen 1977
Fun Phantoms 1979

Books from this series showcase wonderful cover artwork by Edward Gorey. These titles tend to be found as ex-library volumes and are often marred by library stickers on their covers and interior markings, making the search for unblemished copies challenging and rewarding.