In my posting for December 5, 2008, I show a piece of original Edward Gorey artwork that was created for Friends Magazine in the early 1960's. This second piece of Friends art was titled Departing Train when it was exhibited at the San Francisco Cartoon Art Museum as part of the Gorey World exhibition in 1996/1997.
This beautifully rendered image shows a train slowly passing through a neighborhood on a summer day. The children are playing with their animal companions on the steps of a walk-up and all are transfixed by the passing train. This is obviously the event of the day; even the large black dog is all attention, while the scrappy striped cat atop the fence is leaning to peer at the train. I find it interesting that the drawing has a warm, nostalgic feel even though the neighborhood it is passing through appears to be in disrepair and the copious amounts of smoke belching from the train would make it a most unwelcome visitor.
Departing Train is one of my favorite original works by Edward Gorey which I own. I waited many years to acquire this piece and added it to my collection in 2008. It was originally offered to me in 1993 as one of five pieces from the collection of Robert Weeks, who was the Friends art director and had commissioned illustrations from Mr. Gorey for the magazine. In '93 the price of this piece was beyond the limits of my wallet, but I was able to acquire the running dog drawing at the time. I have always viewed this piece of art as one of the "ones that got away" and am thrilled to have finally added it to my art collection.
Once again, I am posting photos of the (fading) three page fax I received from Gotham in 1993 showing the artwork from the Robert Weeks/Friends collection which was available at the time.