Sunday, August 14, 2016
The running joke about Playboy Magazine, the ubiquitous men's magazine founded in 1953, is that one purchased a copy to read the articles. While other distractions were included in every issue, Playboy actually featured the prominent writers, thinkers, and artists of the day. Playboy was also known as a place to see the kind of cartoonists not featured in the Sunday papers.
Like many other illustrators of his day, Edward Gorey had a long association with Playboy. The December 1963 issue features an illustration by Mr. Gorey for A Corking Evening by Lawrence Durrell. This black and white illustration illuminates the joys and perils of too much Christmas cheer. A color illustration for Ukridge Starts A Bank Account by P.G. Woodhouse appeared in the July 1967 issue. Mr. Gorey's final contribution to the publication appears to have been in the November 1988 issue.
Most of Mr. Gorey's illustrations for Playboy were done in color. A surprising number of original pieces of artwork from Playboy have come on the market over the years. Of the ten contributions I know of, five have been sold through dealers or at auction.