Monday, July 6, 2020

Consuelo Joerns 1925 - 2020

Consuelo Joerns has passed at the age of 94. Ms. Joerns was Edward Gorey's close lifelong friend since they attended the Frances W. Parker School together. Her obituary is here:

Monday, June 29, 2020

Button Storage

As we spend more time at home arranging and rearranging our collections, we occasionally run into problematic items like the pinback buttons from Edward Gorey's theatrical entertainments. After years of residing in a silver loving cup trophy, my husband chose an appropriately Goreyesque fabric and sewed me a bell pull to display the buttons. It still needs an oversized tassel on the end, but they are out of the trophy on display.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Places To Go, Places To Visit

What to do when in visiting Yarmouth Port? Visit the Edward Gorey House and take in Mr. Gorey's favorite book store while you are there. View the local news program spot on the house HERE

Friday, June 5, 2020


The beach may be calling, but remember to keep your distance...and enjoy the cake.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Gorey House Membership Premium

The Edward Gorey House has an exciting premium for 2020 House memberships (new or renewal) and/or donations of $100.00 or more. Due to the uncertainty of when the current exhibition will be open to visitors, the House has produced a 24 page full color booklet/brochure for the exhibition. The full color booklet features artwork from the exhibition on every page along with an informative and lengthy essay discussing the works being shown.

This brochure is certain to be a future collectible, so it would be best to get it new by getting a membership or making a donation to the house. Memberships to the House can be completed here:

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

20 Years Ago

Edward Gorey passed from this dimension to the next on Saturday April 15, 2000. It is hard to believe that twenty years have passed since he died. I was in New York City for my annual visit to The Gotham Book Mart and the New York Antiquarian Book Fair at the time. I made several stops at Gotham during this visit and the mood at the store was oddly subdued, for Mr. Gorey had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital that Wednesday. I was unaware of this fact and was happily searching for items to add to my collection.

I am touched by Edward Gorey's works daily. Mr. Gorey's artwork decorates my home and is present in virtually every room, inspiring me to strive for perfection with a sense of quirky humor in all that I do. I am supremely grateful to him for sharing his unique perspective and vision with all of us.

Monday, April 13, 2020

2020 Edward Gorey House Exhibition

The Edward Gorey house is all dressed up and ready to welcome visitors to view the 2020 exhibition He Wrote It All Down Zealously...Unfortunately, the doors remain locked until further notice.

Edward Gorey was a man who compulsively made lists. Lists helped him organize his thoughts and visualize the relationships of words. Many of his books, including all of his alphabets, are basically illustrated lists. Gorey's lists fill countless notebooks and reams of papers, and since he was a man who rarely discarded anything, this fabulous detritus provides insight into the work behind his deceptively simple texts.

One way to experience the 2020 Gorey House exhibition is to visit the website and read curator Gregory Hischak's in depth essay on Gorey's obsession with making lists -

Another important way to help The House survive this challenging time is to purchase a membership or renew your membership. Membership information can be found here -

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Gorey in Japan

Edward Gorey is very popular in Japan. In 2018 and 2019, the Elegant Enigmas exhibition of original artwork and books traveled to ten different museum venues  and had more than 100,000 visitors. Many of Mr. Gorey's books have been translated into Japanese. Here is an enjoyable video with a very enthusiastic presenter introducing Gorey's works on his YouTube channel. The link to the video:

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Obituary for Andreas Brown

Here is the New York Times obituary for Andreas Brown, owner of the now defunct Gotham Book Mart and promoter of the works of Edward Gorey.

The above photo of Andy is from a gallery lecture on Gorey's works at Loyola University in 2014.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Andreas Brown

Andreas Brown, longtime owner of the Gotham Book Mart (GBM) in New York City, has passed away. Mr. Brown took over ownership of the GBM in 1967 and ran the store until its closing in 2007. In the 1960's Mr. Brown embraced the works of Edward Gorey, building and promoting Mr. Gorey's career over the decades. Mr. Brown eventually promoted the works of Edward Gorey to the extent that GBM became ground zero for all things Gorey and Andreas Brown became the leading authority on his works. Until recent health issues led to his retirement, Mr. Brown was co-trustee of The Edward Gorey Charitable Trust.

The above self portrait shows Andreas Brown in a boat christened the H.M.S.  G.B.M.  The drawing is a playful reference to  GBM's motto "Wise Men Fish Here".

Sunday, March 1, 2020

The Angel, The Automobilist, and Eighteen Others

The most recent publication by Edward Gorey is also one of his earliest creations. Published almost 70 years after it was created (and 20 years after the death of Mr. Gorey), The Angel, The Automobilist, and Eighteen Others (published by Pomegranate Communications, Inc. 2020) is a beautifully presented hardcover book that will delight fans of Mr. Gorey. This book is available from Pomegranate Publications ( and can also be ordered from Amazon.

Discovered in Edward Gorey's archives after his death in 2000, The Angel, The Automobilist, and Eighteen Others was created in the very early 1950's but was never published. The volume consists of twenty drawings of a man engaging in various activities and situations. While the drawings are titled, the book lacks a traditional text or story line, which may be why it was shelved. Mr. Gorey did not yet have a reputation and presenting a small collection of drawings to a publisher would most likely have been a hard sell from an unknown author/illustrator.

The man pictured throughout the book is a doppelganger for Mr. Earbrass, the main character from Edward Gorey's first published work, The Unstrung Harp (1953). Each drawing has a hand written title indicating that the man pictured is actually separate gentlemen: The Artist, The Automobilist, The Balloonist, etc. Another way to view the drawings is that each man is actually Mr. Earbrass himself, indulging in various activities and gathering experiences so he can write his great novel, The Unstrung Harp.
Two drawings of particular interest are The Bather and 1900 Coupe (the back cover of the book). In these two drawings, we can see themes that will be employed by Edward Gorey in almost every subsequent book he published. 1900 Coupe is the final illustration of the suite and appears as the back cover. In the lower right hand corner of the drawing, we see an E.G. monogram signature. On the final drawing of every book, Edward Gorey signed his initial signature denoting the end of the tale (sometimes it was difficult to tell if the story had ended).
In the drawing titled The Bather, we find our gentleman in old fashioned swimwear and a fur coat on the beach. Washing up at his feet is a bottle with a calling card inside. Calling cards would appear in one drawing within almost every work by Edward Gorey. In every other book, the calling card is blank. Written on this card is p.p.c. - pour prendre conge, meaning to take leave, or to take vacation. In Victorian times, a calling card (or visiting card) of this sort would be left with friends before embarking on a long voyage or journey. Presumably, the voyage of the owner of the card did not end as expected.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Auction News - A Farewell to The Gotham Book Mart

On Tuesday February 25th Doyle Auction House in New York City sold the contents of Gotham Book Mart's storage locker. This treasure trove of Edward Gorey items was basically what was left of GBM's "back room rarities" that included books, prints, posters, and ephemera, almost all of which were signed by Mr. Gorey. The auction consisted of over 200 lots of choice Gorey material.

This was an online only auction that was not widely advertised. There was a preview to view the items being offered at Doyle but bidding was only available through their website. Because of this, and the difficulties and restrictions of signing in as a first time bidder, those who did sign up and bid successfully were able to turn back time and buy virtually every item at 1990's Gotham Book Mart prices.
One item of particular interest was an undated four page manuscript entitled Can A Pig Fly. This undated story begins briefly as a typed manuscript and Edward Gorey quickly changes to handwriting the rest of the story in his distinctive script over four pages. The manuscript was accompanied by 30 photocopies that made up a rough draft of the proposed book that included sketches for illustrations (not by Mr. Gorey).

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

John Bellairs - The Mansion in the Mist

A recent addition to my Edward Gorey art collection is the cover painting for John Bellairs The Mansion in the Mist (1992 Dial Books for Young Readers). The Mansion in the Mist was the last story in the series written completely by Mr. Bellairs, who passed away in 1991. Later books in the series were completed and then completely written by author Brad Strickland.

The cover painting shows a room in a rustic cabin wherein young Anthony Monday is kneeling beside a trunk, dressed in his pajamas in the middle of the night. The trunk is actually a portal to another world/dimension that only opens at certain times.
 The painting is a watercolor with pen & ink that is quite meticulously executed. The simple composition with the crooked doorway perfectly conveys a sense that all is not right. As can be seen when comparing the original artwork to the printed cover, the colors in the art are subtler and more painterly than when it was reproduced. Mr. Gorey demonstrates his considerable skill at drawing textures and patterns in the wooden walls and floor.
As can be seen in the above scan of the wraparound dust jacket, this is only half of the original artwork. In the mid 1990's Edward Gorey needed to raise funds to tackle some major home repairs, and to this end he sold original artwork from his archive through the Gotham Book Mart to finance the work. When queried by Gotham as to how he wanted the pieces from the Bellairs' series sold, Mr. Gorey stated that he was OK with them cutting the dust wrapper paintings in half if someone only wanted to purchase part of a design.

To my knowledge, three Bellairs titles were cut and sold in halves: The Mummy, the Will, and the Crypt; The Mansion in the Mist; and The Lamp from the Warlock's Tomb. Fortunately, the practice of cutting the art up was quickly ended, and future sales were for the full dust jacket designs only. I now own two of the cut front cover paintings from this series.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Treehorn Movie

Director Ron Howard is working on an animated film based on The Shrinking of Treehorn and the two other Treehorn books by Florence Parry Heide. Edward Gorey's illustrations are said to influence and inspire the animations,

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

More Treehorn

Following my post from November 23, 2019 regarding the disappearing dragon from the rear cover of Treehorn's Treasure (, I was curious to know what might exist in the Edward Gorey archive that could shed light onto the process of removing more than half of an image for publication. I contacted the Edward Gorey Charitable Trust, and after a little digging, archivist Will Baker was able to provide me with images of existing artwork that answer the question, "How did the dragon disappear?".

In 1981 printing an illustrated book was very much a hand crafted endeavor. Today, layouts and printing dummies are created on computer, but in 1981 everything was done by hand using physical copies of the artwork, photography, and printed photostats. To print an illustrated book, the artist would send the completed artwork to the publisher. The drawings would be photographed and full sized photostats would be printed to be used by the printer. A board would be made for each page, and the stat would be pasted into position along with a stat of any type that appeared on the same page. This would once again be photographed and sent to the printer.

On to the artwork. It is of interest that the image appears to have hit two roadblocks on its journey to the back cover of the book.

Part One:
The artwork with dragon is created by Edward Gorey and sent to the Publisher. Someone at the publisher, probably editor John Briggs, objects to the imagination bubble surrounding the dragon coming down on the lower left side and wants to extend the decorative wall border all the way across the image. Edward Gorey approves the change, and a xerox border extension is affixed to the original drawing to make the change. The drawing is then photographed, a stat is made and a color separation is generated which indicates that green will be filled in on the bubble and dragon's body. Everything is ready for printing. It should be noted that the modified image has now become confusing - the dragon now appears to be standing on the border and also flat on the wall. This kind of visual confusion can result when a non-artist begins to alter an artist's work.

Part Two:
Author Florence Parry Heide views a proof or stat of the back cover and strongly objects to the dragon and requests that Edward Gorey remove it entirely from the back cover. Edward Gorey agrees to the change, but the book is now ready for printing and there is no time to redraw the art.
The fastest way to remove the dragon is for a layout artist at the publisher to take the stat of the back cover and modify it. This modified stat is the piece of artwork now in the Gorey Archives. Using an Exacto knife, the stat is cut and the dragon is removed from the board. The glue residue (most likely rubber cement) and cut lines on the surface of the board shows that the stat was carefully cut and portions removed. A second stat is cut and used to repair the wall border where the "Bigger Bubble" had overlapped on the original artwork. White paint is applied to remove some small excess lines. The artwork now modified and is photographed once again.
Notations for the printer are added both on the artwork itself and on a tissue overlay, and the book is ready for printing. Today, the changes would be discussed by text or email and the image would be modified in a matter of minutes on a computer, probably by the artist them self. In 1981 these changes would involve multiple phone conversations and, if Edward Gorey wanted to see the changes, an overnight letter with a copy of the adjusted artwork would need to be sent. There would also be no physical record of the process to study almost 40 years later.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Dancing the Night Away

It is time once again to dust off your tail coats and beaded dresses and get ready to attend The Edwardian Ball. For information and tickets, go to

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Starting the New Year with Goreys at Auction

An auction on January 1, 2020 started the new year off on a whirl with two wonderful pieces of original artwork by Edward Gorey. Originally created for the 1974 Graham Gallery exhibition, the two pieces included #4 Chinese Life and #44 Ninety nine puppies wearing orange knitted caps. The 46 pieces included in the exhibition were created by Mr. Gorey expressly for the gallery show.
#4 Chinese Life sold for $4750.00 (before buyers premium which could be as high as 27%). This two panel pen & ink with watercolor shows a child with a dog in a bleak landscape. #44 Ninety nine puppies wearing orange knitted caps  looks like the maternity ward of a very busy veterinary clinic. This wonderful piece sold for $7000.00 (before buyers premium which could be as high as 27%).