Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Edward Gorey Cat Catalog

In 1976 Workman Publishing published,  Cat Catalog, The Ultimate Cat Book, edited by Judy Fireman. This large book (it measures 9" x 11.5", hardcover with dust jacket) is a compendium of all things Cat. Not surprisingly, after the popularity of Amphigorey in 1972 and Categor y in 1974, Edward Gorey was asked to contribute a piece about cats for the publication.

Mr. Gorey created a two page diptych that appears at the very front of the volume. Each page contains a dozen vignettes of cats "in a variety of unlikely pursuits". The plotting and planning of these two panels is beautifully organized and executed. Each vignette is surrounded by a border in which the hand lettered title winds its way around the image. There are arrows in the border corners guiding the reader, and the piece as a whole has a maze like feel where the viewer feels satisfaction for figuring out the path to enlightenment.

This untitled diptych was published in 1979 by Workman Publishing as half of Dancing Cats & Neglected Murderesses (see my post from November 8, 2009). Unfortunately, the charm of the original work was greatly reduced in the new publication. Each panel is shown without borders on its own page, and the titles are captioned in a standard font on facing pages. The 1979 printing appears to not have had Edward Gorey's direct involvement in the layout or execution, and it suffers greatly when compared to this presentation.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Loyola Exhibit

This image was forwarded to me by a friend in Chicago. Can't wait to see the show in person!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Happy Birthday Edward Gorey

 Edward Gorey was born on this date in 1925.

Happy 89th Birthday Master Edward!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Edward Gorey's 1974 Graham Gallery Exhibition - Updated

On January 23, I did an extended post about Edward Gorey's 1974 Graham Gallery Exhibition. In the post, I asked if anyone with missing images would please forward them for inclusion. Andreas Brown, a trustee of the Edward Gorey Charitable Trust, fortunately ran across a folder of xeroxed images made by Mr. Gorey in the archive which included many pieces from this exhibition. Mr. Brown very generously shared his findings to be included in this posting.

I have added the new pieces to the list below. The quality on some of the xerox copies is poor (especially the later Cat pieces) and, while some of the pieces are color, all of the xeroxes are black and white. Their inclusion, however, presents the most complete understanding of this seminal exhibition by Edward Gorey to date.

As of this writing, there are still no images for pieces #1, 10, 16, 20, 24 & 45.

1. Trying to feed the baby to the dog

2. Two children on a rock 

3. Cell

4. Chinese life
5. Dancing on the Sabbath 
6. Animals and wall

7. China design: picnic

8. Birds and car
9. Animals and train

10. Ballet dancer on skull

11. Football player with skull

12. Bathroom wallpaper design

13. Animals and urn

14. After a Staffordshire sugarbowl

15. Child on swing

16. The white butterfly

17. A dull afternoon

18. Platter design

19. Man and floating skull

20. Unpleasant fan design

21. Blue urns

22. Plain & Coloured Drawings (cover of booklet)

23. Verso: Plain & Coloured Drawings (rear cover of booklet)

24. Discrete self-portrait

25. Tennis (This is a guess - I have not confirmed that this is the correct image)

26. Animal going to a party

27. Animal holding banner

28. String dance I - IIII

29. Cat on cardboard rocks

30. Cat with umbrella and flower

31. Cat wearing long scarf

32. Cat inside empty picture frame

33. Cat drawing wallpaper

34. Cat between andirons

35. Cat on mantelpiece

36. Cat in portable niche

37. Cat at the devil's thimble

38. Masked cat behind pillar

39. Masked cat dancing beside pool

40. Cat at the corner of a carpet

41. Cat composing a poem

42. Cat appearing between parting clouds

43. Cat ascending on a piece of stage machinery

44. Ninety nine puppies wearing orange knitted caps

45. Waxworks

46. Peas

Sunday, February 9, 2014


Vampires - Two Centuries of Great Vampire Stories, is a collection of Vampire stories edited by Alan Ryan which was published in 1987 by Doubleday& Company. This book features a dust jacket design by Edward Gorey that is unique in his illustration career.

At first glance, the images adorning the front and back of the dust jacket appear to be color paintings by Edward Gorey. For those familiar with Mr. Gorey's works, the images are recognizable as pieces from his series of Fine Art etchings. In 1987, only stalwart collectors would have been familiar with his etchings, which could only be obtained through Gotham Book Mart. Since the etchings are printed in black ink, did Mr. Gorey recreate them for this use, or are they something different altogether?

Upon close examination of the prints and the images on the dust jacket, you will see that they are identical - all the dots, lines, shadows and highlights are exactly the same in both images. The bat image has been turned slightly, but it is the same image. The only solution is that Mr. Gorey took a couple of extra prints and hand colored them for this book cover. The coloration added to the cover image slightly obscures the black and white printing, so Mr. Gorey either used pastels or opaque water color paints to color this image. The more dramatic coloring on the bat indicates that he used water color paints on top of a print. This is the only instance I know of where Edward Gorey used one of his Fine Art prints and altered it for use in his commission work.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Edward Gorey Creative Writing & Art contest

Are you inspired creatively by Edward Gorey? Now you have an outlet! In conjunction with the opening of the Gorey exhibition at Loyola, there is a writing & art competition called Goreyesque! For full details about the competition, go HERE.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Edward Gorey Exhibition at Loyola University

It is getting to be time to dig out the snow shoes, strap on the skis, warm up the vehicle, or buy the plane tickets and head to Chicago for Loyola University's Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey - G is for Gorey - C is for Chicago: The Collection of Thomas Michalak exhibition. The exhibition opens at the Loyola Museum of Art on February 15th and continues though June 15th.

Combining the immensely popular Elegant Enigmas traveling exhibition and Mr. Michalak's private collection (which he has donated to Loyola University) this show promises to be the largest single exhibition of Edward Gorey's works in recent years. The show will feature many favorite pieces of original art from the Edward Gorey archives as well as putting a special emphasis on Mr. Gorey's hometown ties to Chicago.

For more information on the exhibition, visit the Loyola website.