Thursday, September 29, 2016

Auction News

On Thursday September 29th, Swann Auction Galleries offered four lots of original artwork by Edward Gorey in their Illustration Art Sale. All the artwork by Mr. Gorey in this sale related to a 1980 stage production of Mozart's opera Don Giovanni. The unconventional Gorey material included the delicate drop curtain design (see above), a fantastical Cemetary where obelisks are topped with skulls, a costume design, and a lot that included six pen & ink set piece designs.

Edward Gorey was quoted on several occasions as having an interest in designing theater sets for productions that one might not associate with his particular style. While the Cemetery and costume sketch are instantly familiar to fans of Mr. Gorey's work, the set pieces have a formal architectural look that rarely betrays their author. The drop curtain design is a shining example of Mr. Gorey's deft line work. Because of the highly specific look of this piece, it is probable that the decorative motif for this piece was based on an existing architectural fragment.

All the pieces from this unusual archive were displayed at The Edward Gorey House Museum from 2008 - 2010.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Gorey Exhibition

Elegant Enigmas, the major exhibition of work by Edward Gorey, is currently pirouetting from one museum to another in Japan. During its overseas excursion, there are still places to see exhibitions of Mr. Gorey's works.

The Cranbrook Art Museum has just opened Unsettled, The Work of Edward Gorey which will remain on display through March 12, 2017. The Museum is part of The Cranbrook Academy of Art, a graduate level arts institution, and is located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

An anonymous alumnus of the institution has recently donated their Edward Gorey collection to the museum, and this is the core of this exhibition. The museum's website announcement about the exhibition can be found HERE, and an article about the show can be found HERE.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

National Post Card Week

National Post Card Week began in 1984 with the idea that the International Federation of Postcard Dealers and different clubs would create and send cards to celebrate the postcard and promote postcard collecting as a hobby.

This wonderful image of a man and his dog caught in a whirlwind of swirling postcards is the first of 13 cards created by Edward Gorey to promote the event. The Gotham Book Mart mounted an annual exhibition of antique and unique post cards in their gallery. I am slowly adding to my collection of these announcement cards.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Publishers Weekly Cover

Edward Gorey created covers for many periodicals over the course of his long career, including this wonderful 1975 image for the May 19th issue of Publishers Weekly. The issue celebrates the Diamond Jubilee of the American Booksellers Association (ABA), and includes an article about their annual convention.

Since Edward Gorey created his artwork at the size it was to be published, magazine cover illustrations represent some of his largest works.  These works are also usually done in full color, which adds to their appeal when framed. Many times the covers will include hand lettering, but often the title of the publication must be dropped in because the font and placement are part of the publications trademark. In this image, a beautiful painted blue sky occupies the top quarter of the image. On the original artwork, the lack of type above the people simplifies the images and gives the work an open, airy feel.

This whimsical cover acknowledges the passion of authors, especially when pitching their unique stories to book publishers. Each character holds their beloved, if slightly eccentric volume aloft for consideration by the ABA Angel (or bat as the case may be) who hovers above, taking notes. Mr. Gorey even makes fun of his own self published works with the barefoot, bearded man in the center offering his diaries in a "limited edition of 11 copies with an original color shapshot pasted into each one".

The original artwork for this cover is currently available from Bromer Booksellers, Here.