Friday, February 12, 2010

1984 Minneapolis Institute of Arts Exhibition, Part 2

Edward Gorey agreed to create a poster for the 1984/85 Gorey Stories exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA). The art he created was a wonderful complete four act play in poster form. This is one of Edward Gorey's most difficult to find posters because the majority of the very small print run never left the Twin Cities and was purchased by museum visitors - not collectors. The MIA only sent Gotham Book Mart a minimal number of the printed posters.

Mr. Gorey drew the original artwork at 8.5" x 17" with written instructions to print the poster at 200% the size of the original, or 17" x 34". Upon receiving the artwork, head librarian and curator for the show, Harold Peterson, ignored Mr. Gorey's hand written instructions and had the posters printed at the size of the art (8.5" x 17").

Since Mr. Gorey had agreed to sign and number 100 posters to be sold at the MIA gift shop, Mr. Peterson sent the small printed pieces to Mr. Gorey. The artist refused to sign the posters until they were printed at the proper size and asked that the small posters be destroyed. The MIA reprinted the posters at the requested size (which Mr. Gorey signed and numbered in an edition of 100), but of course did NOT destroy the small printings as requested. Thus there were three states of this poster available in the gift shop - 8.5" x 17", 17" x 34" unsigned, 17" x 34" signed/numbered. I have copy #22/100 in my collection, as well as a small poster.

When the exhibition was over, the MIA returned the borrowed "A" collection original art and also the art from the poster. Mr. Peterson and the MIA initially resisted sending back the poster art, saying that this piece of art was now the property of the Museum since it was drawn for them. This was not part of the agreement however, and in the end the art went back into Mr. Gorey's archives.

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