Ghoulish Gorey

October has arrived and with it, Edward Gorey. As an artist and illustrator, Gorey (1925-2000) is best known for his dark subjects, as seen in his many New Yorker cartoons and on PBS's series Mystery! (Some FB&C readers may also recall that he had a unique relationship with the famous Manhattan bookshop, Gotham Book Mart.) Whether you want to see some of his stunning work on exhibit or purchase something at auction, now is the time. Here are the gory details...

On October 7, PBA Galleries in San Francisco will auction off the Henry Toledano Collection of Edward Gorey as part of its Fine Literature sale. In fact, what caught my eye when I saw this auction announcement was not Gorey, but Toledano, previously known to me as a fanatical collector of the Modern Library series (I have his ML price guide on my reference shelf.) There are approximately 110 lots in this section, one of which is seen here at left: a signed, hand-pulled collograph titled "Cat in Window, Observing a Night Moon," courtesy of PBA Galleries. This is one of only 40 prints, and its estimate is $1,200-1,800.

On October 14, Swann Galleries in New York has a section with about 50 lots devoted to Gorey in its 19th & 20th Century Literature, Art, Press & Illustrated sale. Lot #241 is perfect as Halloween nears. Edward Gorey's Dracula Poster Puzzle was created during a theater production of Dracula. A fun piece of Gorey ephemera, estimated at $200-300 (seen here at right, courtesy of Swann's.)

I, for one, am in love with Gorey's tyrannical infant. The Beastly Baby by Ogdred Weary (seen here at left, courtesy of Swann Galleries) is the first book by Gorey's Fantod Press, 1962. One of 500 unnumbered copies, it is also signed by Gorey. The estimate is $400-600.

But even if you're not on the market, two current exhibits are highlighting Gorey's art. The Musings of Mystery and Alphabets of Agony: The Work of Edward Gorey runs through December 10 at the University of Hawaii's art gallery. The exhibit showcases selections from the collection of John A. Carollo, a dedicated Goreyphile for more than 35 years.

Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey at the Orlando Museum of Art runs, appropriately, through Halloween. It features 170 objects, including ink illustrations, preparatory sketches, unpublished drawings, and ephemera drawn from the Edward Gorey Charitable Trust.

Happy October!