Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Original Anchor Artwork

I have one original Edward Gorey drawing for an Anchor cover in my collection. Hamlet and Oedipus was drawn in 1954 and is labeled as Anchor A31 on the spine. I find it interesting that EG drew the full size outline of the entire front and back cover (see the photo at the bottom of the listing), positioned the spine and cover illustration appropriately but the type-set copy block was never pasted in position for the rear cover. To lay down a type paste-up would have been a standard practice at the time. It is also fun to note that the price of 75 cents on the artwork has changed to 95 cents on the book cover I am showing. Even though the copyright page of the book does not state that this is a later printing, the price of the book increased in subsequent printings and the "95 cents" appears in a standard typeface on the book and not in Gorey's hand written script. A reader of this blog has told me that they have copies showing 75, 85 and 95 cents in their collection.

I have only ever seen three pieces of original artwork from Gorey's Anchor period - I would assume that more survives since he worked on almost 200 titles, but I have only seen three.

During his time at Anchor, Mr. Gorey was working on his own early books in his off time. He reportedly worked very quickly and deftly at Anchor and thus had time during the day to pull out his own work once he had finished the day's assignments.

This original Hamlet and Oedipus illustration was exhibited as part of "GOREY WORLD, Paintings and Drawings by Edward Gorey" at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco, CA from September 18, 1996 to January 12, 1997. I acquired this piece of art after it was exhibited in this show.

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