Saturday, April 19, 2014

2014 Edward Gorey House Exhibition

Each year, the Edward Gorey House mounts an annual exhibition which is on display from April through December. F is for Fantods is the 2014 exhibition, and this year's exhibit concentrates on the 28 publications which Edward Gorey self published under his Fantod Press imprint.

Showcasing each of the 28 Fantod Press books, the exhibition features printed materials, background information, and original artwork from the books. Also on display are several rare examples of alternate (and ultimately abandoned) drawings for a couple of the titles. There is an excellent Exhibit Guide created by Edward Bradford for the exhibition which illuminates many hidden mysteries surrounding the Fantod Press. This 14 page informative exhibition guide is destined to become a collectible item and is available for purchase by calling the museum.

Mr. Gorey began his private "press" in 1962 with the publication of The Beastly Baby, a story he was unable to interest commercial publishers in producing. Of special interest in this exhibition is the original artwork created for The Beastly Baby. This outrageous tale has been conspicuously absent from the Elegant Enigmas shows. It is fantastic to be able to view the art from this title in person, especially since this is the book that inspired Mr. Gorey to begin his 35 year odyssey of self publication.

Edward Gorey committed himself completely to the 28 Fantod publications, and did all the work himself to bring each of these books to print. Using his talent and commercial art training, Mr. Gorey first wrote the text and created the original artwork for each title. He then, without the aid of today's computers or scanners, created mock-ups and gave detailed printing instructions for his local printer, with whom he had to work closely. In addition to self-financing each Fantod publication, Mr. Gorey also took on the task of distribution through a network of independent booksellers, most prominently The Gotham Book Mart in New York City. 

F is for Fantods is an exhibition that should not be missed by Gorey fans. If you have not visited the Edward Gorey House in the past, the 2014 exhibition is one to try and catch. The depth of material on display is truly amazing. Begin planning your visit by going to the museum's website.

Shown below is one of the hidden treasures on display - one of the discarded drawings from The Chinese Obelisks.

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