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Visual Arts

March 05 2012 to July 27 2012

 
 
Butler Library, 6th floor East
535 West 114th St.
New York, NY 10027
212.854.5590


The Rare Book and Manuscript Library presents a major exhibition of works by the idiosyncratic illustrator, designer, and writer, Edward Gorey (1925-2000). The exhibition draws from the large and important collection of Gorey's works donated to the Columbia University Libraries by noted architectural historian Andrew Alpern in 2010.

The extensive collection, which contains over 700 items, includes nearly every edition of every work published by Gorey, in addition to illustrations for dust jackets and magazines, etchings, posters, and design ephemera. By any measure, this is a major gathering of Gorey's work.

 

 

The exhibition also includes original, limited edition etchings, posters, books written and illustrated by Gorey, books written by others but illustrated by Gorey, books whose cover art was created by Gorey, foreign translations of Gorey books, postcards and Christmas cards, theater-related materials, Dracula-related materials, LP record jackets and CD cover art, Metropolitan Opera and New York City Ballet-related items, various stuffed creatures, photographs of Gorey, and a fur parka that he owned.

An opening reception and panel discussion with Karen Wilkin, Andreas Brown, and Andrew Alpern will be held on Wednesday, March 7 at 6pm at the Italian Academy, 1161 Amsterdam Avenue, to kick off the exhibit. All three experts will explore Gorey the man, the meaning hidden in his books, and the historical influences on his art.

Born in Chicago, Edward Gorey attended Harvard after WWII, and then became an illustrator for Doubleday Anchor in New York City. At the same time, he began writing and illustrating his own distinctive works, in a style that evoked a fin-de-siecle atmosphere. Gorey is perhaps best known for the animated opening sequence to the long-running PBS television series, Mystery! In 1978, he won a Tony for best costume design for work he did for Dracula, starring Frank Langella.

Andrew Alpern is a noted architectural historian and attorney. He has an extensive interest in and role in historic preservation. The author of nine books and scores of articles, Mr. Alpern’s interest in Gorey dates back his personal interactions with the illustrator at the Gotham Book Mart.  Gotham owner, Andreas Brown, took an early interest in Gorey and helped promote his work through his store. In 1980, Mr. Alpern published a collection of ephemera by Gorey.

 

 

The exhibit is free and open to the public during all RBML hours of operation. Entry is free, and handicapped accessible. Please bring valid government-issued photo ID for entry to Butler Library through the Library Information Office, just inside the front door. For entry on Monday evenings after 6:00, please have the Butler Door Guard call the RBML Reference Desk, (212) 854-5590.





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