Saturday, April 19, 2014

2014 Edward Gorey House Exhibition

Each year, the Edward Gorey House mounts an annual exhibition which is on display from April through December. F is for Fantods is the 2014 exhibition, and this year's exhibit concentrates on the 28 publications which Edward Gorey self published under his Fantod Press imprint.

Showcasing each of the 28 Fantod Press books, the exhibition features printed materials, background information, and original artwork from the books. Also on display are several rare examples of alternate (and ultimately abandoned) drawings for a couple of the titles. There is an excellent Exhibit Guide created by Edward Bradford for the exhibition which illuminates many hidden mysteries surrounding the Fantod Press. This 14 page informative exhibition guide is destined to become a collectible item and is available for purchase by calling the museum.

Mr. Gorey began his private "press" in 1962 with the publication of The Beastly Baby, a story he was unable to interest commercial publishers in producing. Of special interest in this exhibition is the original artwork created for The Beastly Baby. This outrageous tale has been conspicuously absent from the Elegant Enigmas shows. It is fantastic to be able to view the art from this title in person, especially since this is the book that inspired Mr. Gorey to begin his 35 year odyssey of self publication.

Edward Gorey committed himself completely to the 28 Fantod publications, and did all the work himself to bring each of these books to print. Using his talent and commercial art training, Mr. Gorey first wrote the text and created the original artwork for each title. He then, without the aid of today's computers or scanners, created mock-ups and gave detailed printing instructions for his local printer, with whom he had to work closely. In addition to self-financing each Fantod publication, Mr. Gorey also took on the task of distribution through a network of independent booksellers, most prominently The Gotham Book Mart in New York City. 

F is for Fantods is an exhibition that should not be missed by Gorey fans. If you have not visited the Edward Gorey House in the past, the 2014 exhibition is one to try and catch. The depth of material on display is truly amazing. Begin planning your visit by going to the museum's website.

Shown below is one of the hidden treasures on display - one of the discarded drawings from The Chinese Obelisks.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Gorey in Chicago

I had the opportunity to take in the G is for Gorey - C is for Chicago exhibition at Loyola University last week when I attended the presentation by Karen Wilken. (I am happily anticipating entering the exhibit below) This double whammy Edward Gorey exhibit is presented at LUMA, the University of Loyola's art museum located in downtown Chicago.

Having previously viewed Elegant Enigmas in its Boston incarnation, it was delightful to revisit the show in a different setting. I believe this is now the sixth time this exhibition has been presented and the core exhibit, with some omissions and additions from the previous outings, remains as solid as ever. Individual pieces from the Estate and items borrowed from collectors will occasionally change for each showing.

New gems on display include early artwork on loan for this showing and the addition of archival materials pertaining to Edward Gorey's formative years in Chicago. Thomas Michalak has donated his Gorey collection to the University and many pieces from the collection are included in the show, giving added depth to the presentation.

The show continues through June 15th and is not to be missed!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Karen Wilken at Loyola

On Wednesday April 9th, author and Edward Gorey expert Karen Wilken gave a presentation at Loyola University in conjunction with the current exhibition on display at the University Museum. Her well attended talk focused on artistic influences found in Edward Gorey's images and story lines. Ms. Wilken's list of influences included books, fine art images, silent films, foreign films, and stories from Mr. Gorey's family. Her presentation was accompanied by projected images illustrating familiar and obscure images.

 Following the main presentation, a question and answer session with the audience was held with Andreas Brown (Edward Gorey Charitable Trust, Gotham Book Mart), Ms. Wilken, and Tom Michalak (collector). A variety of subjects were addressed by the panel in response to questions. The evening concluded with a book signing by Ms. Wilken.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Loyola Exhibit Video

Go HERE to view an interesting newscast video about the Loyola exhibition.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Upcoming Edward Gorey Events

Chicago is the place to be in the next two weeks for events that are sure to delight fans of Edward Gorey!

On Thursday April 3, take in a performance of The Vinegar Works, the Trey McIntyre Project's new contemporary ballet. Commissioned by the Harris Theater, The Vinegar Works will be performed with live musical accompaniment. For information and tickets, go HERE.

On the following Wednesday evening, the spotlight turns to Loyola University where author Karen Wilken will be giving a presentation in conjunction with the current double exhibition, Elegant Enigmas and G is for Gorey, C is for Chicago. Register HERE to attend this April 9th lecture.

For fans not in the Midwest, The Edward Gorey House opens its 2014 season on April 17th. This year's exhibition is The Fantod Press Books, showcasing the volumes which Edward Gorey self published beginning with The Beastly Baby in 1962 and culminating with The Deadly Blotter in 1997.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

What's in a Name?

I awoke at 5:00 am this morning (wishing I could get back to sleep) pondering the name Little Zooks. I was wondering if Edward Gorey bestowed the name to the projectile infant in A Limerick after hearing (or exclaiming himself), "Gadzooks!"

This archaic mild oath is thought to originate in the mid seventeenth century from "God's Hooks", a reference to the nails which held Christ to the cross. Perhaps the Vicar made this exclamation when Little Zooks passed over the rectory.

The image shown above is available as a print from the Edward Gorey House.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Signs of Spring

With the lingering cold and snow, I keep looking for Signs of Spring. This Edward Gorey piece appeared in the New York Times in April 1988. This is a scan of the newspaper. Signs of Spring also appears in The World of Edward Gorey and Amphigorey Again.