Monday, December 10, 2018
On December 17th, Sotheby's will be offering the original artwork from Theoda, a complete 'A Collection" book by Edward Gorey. This is a unique opportunity since primary works by Mr. Gorey form the backbone of his archives and are not generally sold. Original artwork from only two other 'A Collection' books, The Broken Spoke and Leaves From A Mislaid Album have ever been sold. Theoda was created in 1966 when it appeared in Status Magazine. The story eventually appeared in Amphigorey Also in 1983, under the new title The Tuning Fork. A signed/numbered limited edition book of this title was published in 1990 by The Fantod Press (https://goreyana.blogspot.com/2010/07/tuning-fork.html)
Originally slated to be auctioned by Sotheby's on December 13, 2011, this suite of 14 drawings (plus two additional pages) was pulled at the last minute and has only recently been cleared for sale - see my postings from November 30, 2011, December 7 & 15, 2011 for information on the previous sale.
The Sotheby's listing for this lot can be a bit difficult to locate, but can be found by going to http://www.sothebys.com/pdf/2018/N09954/index.html and going to lot 166. It seems to only appear online when looking at the actual Print Catalog for the Fine Books and Manuscripts Online.
Thursday, December 6, 2018
Swann Auction Galleries in New York City held its semi-annual Illustration Auction featuring over 284 lots of original artwork. Included in the sale were four delightful pieces by Edward Gorey.
The first piece offered was a whimsical color piece showing two pigs eating truffles and drinking champagne under a sunny yellow umbrella in the company of a dapper gentleman. None of the participants are in the least bothered that they are reposing in squishy mud. This delightful piece realized a very respectable price as the hammer fell.
The next two pieces were originally created for The Dream World of Dion McGregor. This unusual book chronicles, as the title suggests, the dreams of the author who not only has some fantastic nocturnal happenings in his head, but also narrated the dreams aloud as he slept. The dreams were recorded, transcribed, and masterfully illustrated by Edward Gorey. The first piece, TYN (The Thumb Your Nose club) failed to sell. The second piece titled Peony (see the photo at the top of this post) inspired spirited bidding and topped its high estimate. This microcosm of a drawing - it is only 1.5" x 2.5" - is a miniature Gorey masterpiece. Simply executed, the expressions and attitudes of the three children speak volumes.
The final piece, Common Good Wrestles Bitter Grudge and Purple Rage, is an unusual Gorey illustration from Alvin Steadfast and Vernacular Island from 1965. The final sale price fell precisely in the center of its estimate.
The Spring and early Winter illustration auctions at Swann offer fantastic opportunities to acquire one of a kind works by major and less well known illustrators. The selection of works by Edward Gorey at the sales remains exemplary.
Friday, November 30, 2018
Sunday, November 25, 2018
Thursday, November 22, 2018
Monday, November 12, 2018
In life, Edward Gorey rarely traveled far from his home and only ventured abroad once. Elegant Enigmas, the definitive Edward Gorey retrospective exhibition, has traveled extensively across the United States since 2009. For the past year or so the show has been exhibited in various cities across Japan. The show's Japanese tour will make its ninth stop at the Niitsu Art Museum in Tokyo beginning January 19, 2019.
Elegant Enigmas features original art, books, and ephemera culled from the Edward Gorey Archives. The materials on display will often vary slightly for each venue. At each stop, the personal collection from a regional collector is often featured alongside the Estate materials. A catalog of the core exhibition was published in 2009 (see my post goreyana.blogspot.com/2009/02/reference-materials-part-1.html).
For the Japanese exhibitions, a new catalog has been produced. This oversized glossy paperback shows snippets from the core collection, but the main focus is on the supplemental materials from several collectors (from the layout, I assume it is from several collectors - I don't read Japanese). The pieces shown include original artwork lent from private collections as well as many items not pictured in the American volume. There are interviews and profiles of several collectors as well as a new interview with Andreas Brown, trustee of The Edward Gorey Charitable Trust and former owner of Gotham Book Mart. Unfortunately for those of us that are not multilingual, all of the information in the catalog is written in Japanese.