Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Reference Materials, Part 1

It is difficult to proceed in any area of collecting without accurate information. Through reference materials, we learn about our chosen collecting field and gain a handy resource to look up facts. Over the last 30 years of collecting the works of Edward Gorey, I have amassed a large amount of reference material about his work.

In addition to published books, catalogs and price lists, there is ample information online available to those who wish to know more about Mr. Gorey and his artistic achievements. The great source for all things Gorey online is http://goreyography.com/west/west.htm . This website has more Gorey information and news than any other. Mecca for collectors is the Edward Gorey House, both in person and on-line: http://edwardgoreyhouse.org . I also hope that collectors at all levels will find this on-line blog informative and interesting.

Starting with the most recent and least obscure printed materials available about Mr. Gorey's works, there are several books that provide good information and visual stimulus for today's collector. I will show and discuss additional reference materials in a later posting.

Goreyography - 1996 by Henry Toledano with additional information by Jim Weiland and Malcolm Whyte. The most complete checklist of Gorey books, books designed/illustrated by EG, and illustrations in periodicals to date. Completed four years before Mr. Gorey's death, this book could use an update or addendum to complete it with work published from 1996 - 2001. The major flaw with this title is the inclusion of values for the books listed. The pricing information was almost immediately out of date since values always fluctuate, and the prices can only be referenced as "time capsule" information. Originally available as a signed/limited edition hardcover and also in paperback, this book is now available on the secondary market, and is an invaluable resource to any collector.

F is for Fantods - 2008 by Edward Bradford. A privately printed checklist of Mr. Gorey's Fantod Press titles. This booklet can be considered an expansion to Goreyography's information about the Fantod books, with some previously unpublished information about these titles and a cover illustration not seen before. Available as a signed/limited edition booklet in wrappers and also an unsigned edition from The Edward Gorey House. Solid information, clearly presented.

Elegant Enigmas the Art of Edward Gorey - This 2009 book is the catalog for the current traveling exhibition of Mr. Gorey's works that will open at the Brandywine Museum in Pennsylvania in March 2009. In addition to a checklist of art exhibited in the show, this book has a new essay on Gorey by author Karen Wilkin. The most unusual items exhibited at the show (and shown in the book) are the illustrated envelopes which young EG sent to his mother in 1948. This new hardcover book is available from the museum, at bookstores, and online.

Ascending Peculiarity - 2001 edited by Karen Wilkin. A collection of previously published interviews with Edward Gorey from various sources. For those who missed the original publications of these interviews in a wide range of magazines and even television programs, this is a great read with lots of information sprinkled throughout. Still available online and in bookstores in the original hardcover edition as well as the paperback reprint.

The World of Edward Gorey - 1996 by Clifford Ross and Karen Wilkin. This book starts with an interview with Gorey by Ross, the main subject of which is art. Karen Wilkin provides an essay. Great pictures of previously unseen pieces as well as old favorites. Originally available as a hard cover in a trade and limited edition, the paperback reprint is still available occasionally from online booksellers.

No comments: