Monday, November 12, 2018

Elegant Enigmas in Japan

In life, Edward Gorey rarely traveled far from his home and only ventured abroad once. Elegant Enigmas, the definitive Edward Gorey retrospective exhibition, has traveled extensively across the United States since 2009. For the past year or so the show has been exhibited in various cities across Japan. The show's Japanese tour will make its ninth stop at the Niitsu Art Museum in Tokyo beginning January 19, 2019.

Elegant Enigmas features original art, books, and ephemera culled from the Edward Gorey Archives. The materials on display will often vary slightly for each venue. At each stop, the personal collection from a regional collector is often featured alongside the Estate materials. A catalog of the core exhibition was published in 2009 (see my post

For the Japanese exhibitions, a new catalog has been produced. This oversized glossy paperback shows snippets from the core collection, but the main focus is on the supplemental materials from several collectors (from the layout, I assume it is from several collectors - I don't read Japanese). The pieces shown include original artwork lent from private collections as well as many items not pictured in the American volume. There are interviews and profiles of several collectors as well as a new interview with Andreas Brown, trustee of The Edward Gorey Charitable Trust and former owner of Gotham Book Mart. Unfortunately for those of us that are not multilingual, all of the information in the catalog is written in Japanese.
This slight hiccup should not deter the serious collector from obtaining a copy of this catalog. The format, photography, and layout of the catalog is visually stunning and is sure to influence the look of future exhibition catalogs whose layout often resembles a checklist. The best way to obtain one of these catalogs is through eBay listings from Japan.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Coments and Questions

If you have sent me a comment or question and it failed to appear on the blog in a reasonable time frame, I apologize for the delay. I was not receiving notifications that comments were awaiting moderation. I went through the list, cleaned things up, and applied comments to blog entries last night. Again, sorry for the delays...I really appreciate all comments and questions.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Gorey Biography

Born To Be Posthumous, The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey by Mark Dery is the long anticipated biography of author/artist Edward Gorey. Researched and written over a seven year period, author Dery explores every aspect of Mr. Gorey's life, career, and exceptional talent.

When asked in interviews about his life, Edward Gorey was quick to point out that his was a boring existence. The life of a successful visual artist or writer usually is, and Mr. Gorey worked tirelessly in both mediums. Countless hours were spent alone with his cats (is one ever really alone when one lives with cats?) employing his creative talents to produce hundreds of pieces of writing and thousands of drawings. In addition to the time spent working, Mr. Gorey also spent hundreds of hours reading thousands of books. And yet, the overall portrait that emerges is not of a solitary man or recluse, a tag often pinned on him.

Through this volume we come to realize that Edward Gorey was an extremely organized individual who enjoyed the company and mental stimulation of others, but had very little time for intimate socializing. The result is that the people who interacted with him felt that they didn't really know him, or more accurately knew only one part of him. If he was at the ballet, he talked ballet...if he was involved in a theatrical project, he concentrated on the project...with his agent or publisher, he talked about the book project or illustration assignment. Amongst his family and friends he was regarded as a highly entertaining companion who had a wicked opinion on every subject and could skewer anyone and anything with a few well chosen, and often flamboyantly expressed, words.

This biography brings Edward Gorey to life in a highly readable, entertaining volume. Author Mark Dery seems to have reached out to, and asked pointed questions of, virtually every person who crossed paths personally and professionally with Mr. Gorey. Mr. Dery's exhaustive research also included hundreds of articles about, and interviews with the artist. The resulting work paints a thorough portrait of Edward Gorey as a unique individual who was possessed of an astounding talent and the drive and self motivation to produce works that continue to amuse and inspire his legion of fans.

Born To be Posthumous, The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey by Mark Dery will be published on November 6, 2018 by Little, Brown and Company.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

The Simpson's Too Short Story

When you are creating an episode of The Simpsons and you need a minute and a half of filler (or that is just your excuse, and you are sticking to it), who do you turn to? Edward Gorey, of course! From the cross hatching to the Vincent Price-esque narration, this is a delightfully ghoulish homage to Edward Gorey's short books.

Thanks to Mark Dery's upcoming Edward Gorey biography for bringing this short film my attention.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Goreyana Turns Ten

Ten years ago, on October 5, 2008, I began this collecting blog with the following statement:

Welcome to my Edward Gorey blog. In this blog, I will share pieces from my Edward Gorey collection which includes books, ephemera and original artwork. I welcome comments, questions and enthusiastic observers! I plan to keep things informal and hope that anyone who visits my blog might learn something they didn’t know about Edward Gorey and his work.

 I really appreciate all the interesting people I have communicated with and gotten to know over the past ten years through this blog. I look forward to sharing more stories, interesting facts, and the wonderful artwork of Edward Gorey in the coming months and years!

Irwin Terry

Monday, October 1, 2018

A Tour Of The Edward Gorey House

Here is a great tour of the Edward Gorey House with curator Gregory Hischak.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Gorey Inspired Set Decoration

The 1973 book The House With A Clock In Its Walls by John Bellairs was illustrated by Edward Gorey. For the new movie based on the book, director Eli Roth studied these illustrations along with the collected works of Edward Gorey to give the movie a Gorey-inspired look. Mr. Roth is a long time fan and collector of the works of Edward Gorey. For an in-depth New York Post interview in which Mr. Roth discusses his Gorey inspirations for the settings, creatures, and even the actor's mannerisms, go HERE.