Monday, July 25, 2011

Fine Art Prints, Part 8

We continue with Gotham Book Mart's 2002 list of prints created by Edward Gorey. Most of the prints shown on this post are available for purchase from The Edward Gorey House - edwardgoreyhouse.org - although some editions are sold out.

#26 Free Fall Elephant - 35/95 prints were hand signed.
#27 Elephant and Prostrate Passenger - 35/95 prints were hand signed.
#28 Elephant on Precipice Facing Left with Broken Trunk - 20/95 prints were hand signed.
#29 Elephant in Backstroke - 20/95 prints were hand signed.
#30 Floating Blotted Line Elephant - 45/95 prints were hand signed.
#31 Elephant on Three Legs, Trunk Aloft - 45/95 prints were hand signed.
#32 Pink Elephant in Handstand - 95/95 prints were hand signed. I have #66/95 in my collection. This is one of my favorite Gorey prints...the elephant looks very happy!
#33 Seated Green Elephant - 34/95 prints were hand signed. I have #25/95 in my collection.
#34 Elephant on Two Legs with raised trunk - 20/95 prints were hand signed.
#35 "E" Elephant - 37/95 prints were hand signed.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Deadly Blotter

The Deadly Blotter, Thoughtful Alphabet XVII by Edward Gorey was published in 1997 using his Fantod Press imprint. This title was issued in olive green wrappers in an signed limited edition of 750 numbered and 26 lettered (A to Z). I am have copies #8/750 and #H/26. This title is included in Amphigorey Again.

At the time of publication, I was thrilled to see a hand illustrated book rather than the clip art-illustrated publications Mr. Gorey had seemed to have gotten so fond of creating. While Mr. Gorey has given up his extensively crosshatched backgrounds, there are flower urns throughout this book with great designs on them. This is the one title where Mr. Gorey forgot to add his signature calling card to one of the drawings.

The announcement card (shown above and to the left) for The Deadly Blotter gives information on which Thoughtful Alphabets have already been published, noting the gaps in the numbering sequence. Presumably, Edward Gorey had written all of these alphabets, but had not gotten around to publishing them.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Lilliput Magazine

Lilliput was a small format British monthly publication founded in 1937. The magazine featured short stories, humor, and arts related subjects. In the 1950's is was also known for publishing fairly daring pictures of female nudes. It ceased publication in 1960 when it merged with the pornographic magazine Men Only.

Until 1949, every issue had a front cover illustration by Walter Trier, which showed a scene that always included a man, a woman and a small terrier dog. Somewhere around 1949/52, Edward Gorey created a cover design for the magazine. I do not know if this cover art was actually used for the magazine, but the art is spectacular.
I recently acquired the original artwork for this cover. The image appears as a stained glass window and features three men in an old fashioned car who are obviously lost. The line work on this piece is breathtaking, many lines being mere whispers of the pen on paper. Much care has been taken to modulate the colors of the pieces of "glass", exactly as this style of window would be created. The price symbol for One Shilling is shown in the upper right hand corner. The signature in the lower right hand corner is early and fairly unusual, being signed EStJG for Mr. Gorey's full name ~ Edward St. John Gorey.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Beast Under the Wizard's Bridge

The Beast Under the Wizard's Bridge by Brad Strickland was the final book in the John Bellairs's series with a dust jacket and frontis illustration by Edward Gorey. Published by Dial Books for Young Readers in 2000, this was probably the last illustration project completed by Mr. Gorey before his death in April of that year.

The preliminary art for the "beast" was still on his drawing table when Kevin McDermott photographed Mr. Gorey's home just days after he died. It can be seen in Mr. McDermott's book Elephant House, The Home of Edward Gorey (see my posting from May 29, 2011 for information on this book).
The dust jacket painting and the black and white frontis illustration were included in the 2001 Bromer Booksellers catalog. I really like the frontis art for this title, with the stained glass window in the stairwell.