Wednesday, October 2, 2019
The Edwardian Ball is kicking off its 20th season on October 23 with A Gorey Halloween. The Edwardian Ball is an Edward Gorey themed event held in San Francisco that is equal parts performance, cosplay, fashion and music. For more information and tickets, go to: https://www.edwardianball.com/edwardian-halloween
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Profiles In History included items from the estate of actor Martin Landau. Mr. Landau led the 1984/85 touring production of Dracula, with set and costume designs by Edward Gorey. As a souvenir of the production, Mr. Landau had a piece of the set signed by the production's cast and crew.
Edward Gorey's sets had multitudes of bats and skulls scattered about the three interiors. For Miss Lucy's bedroom in Act 2 these skulls were used as drapery stays at the window as as part of the elaborate bed hangings. The skulls are constructed in cast fiberglass with a wooden backing. The surface has been airbrushed for use on the set. At 7" x 8" x 5", the skull is an impressive Gorey/Dracula/Landau cross reference collectible.
Friday, September 20, 2019
If you reside in St. Louie and are looking for a little mid morning diversion for your children between now and Halloween, you can visit a local library where the Storytime Theater will present A Delightfully Gorey Tale For Tots. The performances are free and will be performed at different libraries in September and October. For the locations and schedule, visit www.slpl.org/news/storytime-theater-a-delightfully-gorey-tale-for-tots
Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Friday, August 30, 2019
The Mourning Fan, or Meanwhile and Elsewhere is a little known book by Edward Gorey that until now has only appeared in the literary omnibus Antaeus in1990. The story consists of thirty verses, each accompanied by a small fan shaped drawing. The book was intended to be Mr. Gorey's third miniature book, but was never published as a stand alone volume in his lifetime.
Aredian Press has issued the of The Mourning Fan in a Deluxe Miniature Limited Edition of 26 copies (lettered A-Z), plus 3 out of sequence copies. Each meticulously crafted book is hand made and comes housed in a custom clam shell box. These exquisite volumes feature individualized touches to the beading on the covers, making each copy in the series unique.
The book has been beautifully produced, with the type for each of the verses set to mimic the fan shaped illustrations. For more information about this special edition, go to: https://aredian.co/work/#press
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
The Broken Spoke by Edward Gorey was published in 1976 by Dodd, Mead and Co. Before its publication, selections from the book's 30 drawings were published as a six page spread in the June 1976 issue of Sports Illustrated magazine.
For the 1979 exhibition, Edward Gorey decided to offer artwork from The Broken Spoke rather than create new works specifically for the gallery show. After the exhibition, unsold Broken Spoke pieces
remained in his archive until the art was sold by Gotham Book Mart in the early 2000's.
All of the images created for The Broken Spoke depict various aspects of bicycles and cycling. The conceit of the project is that all of the images are postcards supposedly drawn by Dogear Wryde, the nom de plume Mr. Gorey used when creating post card images.
A recent addition to my collection is a piece of original artwork from The Broken Spoke. This skillfully rendered piece is titled, "Apparition of demon cyclist that appeared in the sky over Gasket, Maine several times during the second week in November, 1911". Edward Gorey would often sign, but not date illustration art for his commercial work. When Mr. Gorey did date his work, it is an indication that the piece was created for one of his own publications. At first glance, the dates are cryptic until one figures out his dating system.
Sunday, July 28, 2019
Edward Gorey went to movies. A lot of movies. All kinds of movies. He both loved to watch and playfully disparage films and the people who made them. In what can only be called a stroke of genius, someone at the Soho Weekly News gave Mr. Gorey an official platform to write about the movies he was going to see. He penned a number of movie reviews in 1974 for the publication under the anagrammatic nom de plume Wardore Edgy.
Mr. Gorey threw himself into the task with gleeful abandon. He even created an illustration for the column wherein the "critic" is lounging in a movie theater watching a thriller, his sneaker clad feet extending into the next row and his oversized fur coat casually tossed over a nearby seat.
The reviews read like a one sided phone conversation at two in the morning with an over caffeinated dandy. Most reviewers temper criticism with praise. Mr. Edgy has no such scruples and goes for the throat nine out of ten times. The reviews are chatty, catty, and occasionally non linear in thought, so eager is Mr. Edgy to move on to his next victim. The results are hilarious, and could change the way you look at some revered filmmakers and movie stars. The reviews are also written with the affection of someone who truly loves movies and can't wait to finish typing so he can head out to a theater.
The scan of this review was sent to me by a fellow collector from New York. Copies of the Soho Weekly News can be difficult to locate as it was a small localized New York City publication. The first issue was published October 11, 1973 and the final issue was dated March 10 - 16, 1982.
The last paragraph of this review, which was published March 14, 1974, reads, "Since it first came out, I have thought Mel Brooks' The Producers was the most offensive movie I ever saw; I've now seen Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles and I no longer think this."
Tuesday, July 2, 2019
Twenty six drawings are put in a box and forgotten, only to be found decades later.
What sounds like the beginning of a tale by Edward Gorey is actually the history of a collection of early works by the artist. In an added Goreyesque twist to the take, the art was found by a dealer who was pursuing works by another artist. To read the full article that appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star, go HERE.
Sunday, June 30, 2019
The Shrinking of Treehorn, the Edward Gorey illustrated 1971 book by Florence Parry Heide is under construction to appear as a feature length film by Imagine Entertainment. Director Ron Howard slated to take on the project. For more information go HERE.
Monday, June 17, 2019
For his TV Guide pieces, Edward Gorey let his playful sense of humor come to the forefront. Mr. Gorey was an avid television viewer who thoroughly enjoyed sitcoms and soap operas. For this piece, the entranced viewer has the wide eyed blank stare of a person who has spent many hours following too much trauma/drama on the television set. The speech bubble is a parody of dialog and the acting abilities of the soap's actors. The wording has been pasted onto the surface of the artwork, indicating that Mr. Gorey's changed the text after completing the artwork. It would be interesting to compare the original wording with the final text.
Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Swann Auction Galleries held their semi-annual Illustration Art Auction on Tuesday June 4, 2019 (to view the complete catalog, go to https://catalogue.swanngalleries.com/asp/searchresults.asp?st=D&pg=1&ps=10&sale_no=2511). Over 200 lots ranging in subject matter from book & magazine illustration, advertising, and theatrical set & costume designs, guaranteed that this auction had something for everyone. Eight original illustrations by Edward Gorey were spaced throughout the sale. All the art by Mr. Gorey sold, with only one piece selling below the pre-auction estimate, and many going higher.
The eight pieces represented a microcosm of the Edward Gorey's career. Three early pieces included a Pin-Up drawing created as a teenager, a naturalistic rabbit drawing made in the early 1950's, and an unusual "pre-Earbrass"color piece showing two Russian gentlemen enjoying an Easter Tea. The characters in this piece are a transition from the figures decorating Mr. Gorey's wartime letters to friends and family to his fully realized protagonist Mr. Earbrass, from his first published book The Unstrung Harp.
The 1980's had several nice examples, including a color piece created for TV Guide and an amusing Scottish Golfer who is checking his rule book regarding how to deal with a beastie residing in the hole on the green...does he get the putt or not?
Sunday, May 26, 2019
Professor Childermass was also something of a chain smoker, especially in the earlier books in the series. As the series progresses, the Professor works hard to break the habit. What was the Professor's cigarette of choice? The tiny, black papered Balkan Sobranie Turkish Cigarette. This also appears to be the preferred cigarette of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot. A fun collectible to display near your book collection is the illustrated vintage tin box that once housed the tiny cigarettes. These tins can be found in antiques shops and in on-line auctions.
Friday, May 17, 2019
"What are you going to do with all your stuff when you die?"
When you reach a certain age, or have accumulated a certain amount of possessions, this question will come up in conversation with increasing frequency. Often, as people "downsize" their living space they will disperse the bulk of their belongings before they pass. Many people leave behind the accumulated detritus of a lifetime that family and friends must deal with.
When Edward Gorey passed in 2000, he left behind a house and barn full to the rafters with objects collected over a lifetime of shopping, tag sales, and literally picking things up and bringing them home. Mr. Gorey had an obsession with objects. The pieces he collected and lived with inspired his works and often appeared in his drawings. After his passing, some of these possessions were bequeathed to family, friends, and institutions, but there was still a house and barn full of things that had to be dealt with.
When Edward Gorey's home was turned into a permanent museum celebrating his life and works, the barn became the repository of objects that needed to be cleared and sorted as the rooms of his home were turned into exhibition spaces. Many of the pieces he collected are on display in the museum, but there was still a large stash of pieces brought home by Mr. Gorey that were languishing in storage. Time to bring in the artists!
26 artists were each given a box and escorted into the barn to pick and choose objects that they would then take back to their respective studios and transform into works of art that will be exhibited at the Cape Cod Cultural Center, and then sold to benefit The Edward Gorey House.
To learn more about the event, go HERE. To read an article about the upcoming exhibition and sale, go HERE.
The piece shown at the top of the post is titled "Dancing in the Dark" by artist Ric Haynes.
Saturday, April 27, 2019
One of the most pervasive personal adornments Edward Gorey enjoyed throughout his life was jewelry. His earrings, necklaces, and rings were wonderfully excessive. Perhaps Mr. Gorey took inspiration from the murder mysteries he loved to read, where characters would come to breakfast adorned in every piece of jewelry they brought with them for a weekend house party when the threat of robbery was afoot. Whatever the inspiration, Mr. Gorey loved his baubles. An article published in The Daily Beast (go HERE) discusses Edward Gorey's love of all kinds of jewelry.
(Photo of Edward Gorey from the Edward Gorey Documentary Project for more information on the upcoming documentary, go to: https://www.edwardgoreyfilm.com )
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Never Get on an Elevator Alone with a Foreign Woman is a stunning 7.75" x 5" pen & ink and watercolor painting with everything you could wish for in an Edward Gorey piece. It is nice to see that Heritage is publishing the known provenance as part of the description of their listings. Hopefully, this will become the standard practice of all auction houses and dealers.
Saturday, April 6, 2019
Next week begins a cavalcade of events at The Edward Gorey House with the opening of the 2019 exhibition entitled Hippity Wippity, Edward Gorey and the Language of Nonsense. The Cape Cod Times published an article about the show and upcoming events at the House - www.capecodtimes.com/entertainmentlife/20190404/yarmouth-port-exhibit-highlights-edward-goreys-nonsense?fbclid=IwAR1bPIcBmlt3VeVGefbED11G9zKTS4AV-VjANdwIlOc0YmeUrb4PKIRU3SU
Thursday, March 28, 2019
Edward Gorey Nesting Dolls. The museum had an exhibition of nesting dolls that included a video of the people hand painting the figures/dolls. After viewing the exhibit and purchasing a set of blank wooden dolls, I was looking for inspiration for the subject of my set. Naturally, Edward Gorey provided not only the inspiration, but also the subject matter.
I wanted to use iconic Gorey characters that were size appropriate for the five dolls. Beginning with the largest doll (4.25" tall), I chose Edward Gorey himself in one of his classic fur coats. A "Gorey Cat" lounges behind him in the grass. Appropriately, the Gorey Doll opens to reveal more characters.
The second doll shows The Doubtful Guest with his billowing scarf. The back of this doll has a small frog resting pensively. The Doubtful Guest opens to reveal a Gorey Cat with a Twisby on the reverse.
For the final two dolls, Figbash has wrapped itself around the next. Figbash opens to reveal the tiny (1" tall) Black Doll. It was interesting to cross hatch on a three dimensional surface, and most difficult to remember where I could touch the pieces so I would not smudge the paint and ink. The final set is a one of a kind homage to Mr. Gorey.
Friday, March 22, 2019
Monday, March 4, 2019
Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra will premier a new work inspired by Edward Gorey's timeless book The Doubtful Guest. The Doubtful Guest has been created by composer in residence Francis Snyder. A talk with the composer, conductor Matt Scinto, and Edward Gorey House Curator Gregory Hischak will take place before the concert.
For more information and tickets, visit: www.capecodchamberorchestra.org
Tuesday, February 26, 2019
Take the furs out of cold storage, strap on your wooden leg, gas up the Pierce Arrow motor car, and get ready to head to the Edward Gorey House on Thursday April 11th for the opening of the 2019 exhibition Hippity Wippity (Edward Gorey and the Language of Nonsense). Rhyming dictionaries will undoubtedly need revisions once this exhibit opens.
Friday, February 22, 2019
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Don Giovanni in 1980 is such an item.
In 2016, Swann Auction Galleries sold a number of original set and costume designs by Edward Gorey from the production of Don Giovanni (goreyana.blogspot.com/2016/09/auction-news.html). Mounted by the Monadnock, New Hampshire Music Festival, the Mozart opera was directed by Peter Sellers. The program for the two night only production has a striking cover design by Mr. Gorey. A rose, which is opening to reveal a skull inside it, is surrounded by the title and dancing flames. Given the brevity of the performance run, these programs are understandably quite rare.
Monday, February 4, 2019
It is time once again for The Edwardian Ball, an event that mixes art, performance, music, and fashion. Like the legendary grand costume balls of Victorian and Edwardian eras, The Edwardian Ball is a themed performance party inspired by the work of Edward Gorey.
The 2019 Los Angeles ball will be held this coming Saturday, February 9th. The theme for this years ball is The Epiplectic Bicycle. For information and tickets to attend this event, visit www.edwardianball.com
Monday, January 28, 2019
The Nursery Frieze was published by Edward Gorey through his Fantod Press in 1964 in a limited edition of 500 copies. Inspired by a recent Facebook post by the Edward Gorey House, here are all 96 words being muttered by the animals parading in single file in the book, along with their definitions. Some words have more than one meaning. For these, the definition most likely to appeal to or be used by Mr. Gorey was chosen.
Archipelago - Any large body of water with a chain of islands
cardamon - Aromatic seeds used as a spice or condiment
obloquy - Damning or censure of a person or thing by the general public
tacks - A short, sharp pointed nail, usually with a rounded head
Ignavia - Idleness or sloth
samisen - Japanese musical instrument with a long neck and three strings, played with a plectrum
bandages - A strip of cloth or other material used to bind a wound
wax - A solid, yellowish substance secreted by bees
gavelkind - Equal division of land among the heirs of the holder
tumeric - A powdered plant rhizome used as a yellow dye or condiment, as in curry powder
imbat - A cooling etesian wind in the Levant (as in Cyprus)
cedilla - A mark (¸) placed under a consonant letter, as under c in French, in Portuguese, and formerly in Spanish, to indicate that it is pronounced (s), under c and s in Turkish to indicate that they are pronounced, respectively, (ch) and (sh), or under t and s in Romanian to indicate that they are pronounced, respectively, (ts) and (sh).
Cassation - An annulment, cancellation, or reversal. Also, an 18th Century instrumental musical suite intended for outdoor performance
hendiadys - A figure in which a complex idea is expressed by two words connected by a copulative conjunction: “to look with eyes and envy” instead of “with envious eyes.”
quincunx - An arrangement of five objects, such as trees, in a square with one at each corner and the fifth in the center
vanilla - Extract from an orchid pod, used in flavoring food
Corposant - A corona discharge in the air caused by atmospheric electricity causing a luminous region that sometimes appears around church spires, the masts of ships, etc.
madrepore - any stony coral forming reefs or islands in tropical seas
ophicleide - a musical wind instrument consisting of a conical metal tube bent double
paste - A mixture of flour and water used to bind two objects together
Jequirity - A poisonous scarlet colored pea used for making necklaces and rosaries
tombola - British lotto or bingo played with paper and pencil as a gambling game.
sphagnum - Any soft moss found in bogs, used in floral arrangements and for dressing wounds
distaste - disinclination or dislike
Aceldema - The land near Jerusalem purchased with the bribe Judas took for betraying Jesus
lunistice - The farthest point of the moon's northing and southing, in its monthly revolution
yarlborough - A hand in Bridge or Whist containing no honor cards
cranium - The part of the skull that encloses the brain
Febrifuge - A serving of medicine to dispel or reduce fever
ampersand - A symbol to represent "and"
hubris - Excessive pride or self-confidence
geranium - Common garden flower. Also, a tone of the color red
Opoanax - A semitransparent resin used in incense
thunder - a loud noise produced by the explosive expansion of air heated by a lightning discharge
dismemberment - To remove limbs
baize - A soft green fabric resembling felt, used chiefly for the tops of billiard tables
Hellebore - Any of several plants of the buttercup family, the Christmas rose
obelus - A mark (− or ÷) used in ancient manuscripts to point out spurious, corrupt, doubtful, or superfluous words or passages
cartilage - A firm, elastic, flexible type of connective tissue of a translucent whitish or yellowish color; gristle
maze - A confusing network of intercommunicating paths or passages; labyrinth
Anitgropelos - Waterproof leggings
piacle -A sacrificial offering
occamy - A metallic alloy that simulates the precious metals silver and gold. (Side Note: In the world of Harry Potter, an Occamy is a winged serpentine beast found in Asia whose eggs have shells made of silver. The Occamy can grow or shrink to fill any space. Perhaps J. K. Rowling has a copy of The Nursery Frieze herself.)
whistle - To make a musical sound by expelling air through a small space made by contracting the lips
Maremma - A marshy region near the seashore
accismus - The feigned refusal of something earnestly desired
badigeon - A composition for patching surface defects in carpentry or masonry
epistle - A letter, especially a formal or didactic one
Quodlibet - A subtle or elaborate argument or point of debate, usually on a theological or scholastic subject.
catafalque - A raised structure on which the body of a deceased person lies or is carried in state
hiccup - The condition of having spasms
remorse - A strong feeling of sadness and regret about something wrong that you have done.
Idioticon - A dictionary of dialect
gibus - Another name for an opera hat
botargo - A relish consisting of the roe of mullet or tunny, salted and pressed into rolls
divorce - The formal ending of a marriage by law
Phylactery - Something worn as a talisman or charm
gegenschein - A diffuse faint light, sometimes visible almost directly opposite the sun in the night sky
clavicle - Collarbone
sago - A white substance obtained from the trunks of palm trees used for making sweet puddings.
Bellonion - An early 19th Century mechanical musical instrument consisting of twenty-four trumpets and two kettle drums
thurible - A censer for burning incense
aphthong - A letter or combination of letters used in spelling a word but not pronounced., eg "gh" in "knight"
plumbago - Graphite
Amaranth - An imaginary flower that never fades or dies
rhoncus - A whistling or snoring sound of the chest when the air channels are partly obstructed
pantehnicon - A furniture removal van drawn by horses
hymn - A religious song that Christians sing in church
Diaeresis - A pause in a line of verse occurring when the end of a foot coincides with the end of a word
purlicue - The flourish at the end of a pen stroke
sparadrap - A sticking plaster
whim - A sudden wish to do or have something that seems to have no serious reason or purpose
Cicatrix - A scar
salsify - An edible plant whose root tastes like oysters
palindrome - A word, line, verse, number, or sentence that reads the same backward as forward
Bosphorus - A strait connecting the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara.
Narthex - A porch or portico at the west end of a church reserved for penitents and others not admitted to the church itself
betrayal - To deliver or expose to an enemy by treachery or disloyalty
chalcedony - A translucent variety of quartz, often milky or grayish
phosphorus - a poisonous yellowish-white chemical element that glows slightly, and burns when air touches it
Ligament - A band of tissue serving to connect bones
exequies - A funeral procession
spandrel - The area between two adjoining arches, or between the head of a window on one level and the sill of a window immediately above
chandoo - An extract or preparation of opium that is smoked
Gehenna - Any place of extreme torment or suffering, but specifically the valley of Hinnom, near Jerusalem, where propitiatory sacrifices were made to Moloch
etui - A small case, especially for needles
anamorphosis - A drawing presenting a distorted image that appears in natural form under certain conditions, as when viewed at a raking angle or reflected from a curved mirror
glue - A protein gelatin boiled in water, that when melted or diluted is a strong adhesive
Wapentake - A subdivision of a shire or county corresponding to a hundred
orrery - A mechanical apparatus for representing the positions, motions, and phases of the planets, satellites, etc., in the solar system
aspic - A savory jelly usually made with meat or fish stock and gelatin
mistrust - To regard with suspicion or doubt
Ichor - An ethereal fluid flowing in the veins of the gods. ALSO: An acrid, watery discharge, as from an ulcer or wound.
ganosis - A process of toning down the glare of marble as practiced by sculptors in classical antiquity, especially on nude parts of a sculpture
velleity - A mere wish, but without the conviction to act upon it
dust - A cloud of finely powdered earth or other matter in the air.
How many of these words can find their way into daily conversation?