Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Museum of Art

Past Exhibitions

G is for Gorey—C is for Chicago: The Collection of Thomas Michalak

February 15–June 15, 2014

This exhibition delves into the life of Edward Gorey—from Chicago to Cape Cod—and examines his fanciful and frightful illustrations for book jackets, magazine articles, and children’s books. A prolific author, he wrote over one hundred books, demonstrating a particular talent for poetry and drama. Gorey considered himself to be both a writer and an illustrator. Works are drawn almost exclusively from the collection of Thomas Michalak, a Loyola alumnus and board member of the Edward Gorey House in Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts. He has been collecting Gorey materials since the 1970s.

Gorey was born in Chicago and came from an artistic family: his father was a newsman and writer, and his maternal grandmother, Helen St. John Garvey, was a greeting-card designer and illustrator. He spent early years in the area, attending elementary, middle, and high school. While awaiting induction into the army, he took courses at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1943, he left Chicago and spent two years in the service. Later he enrolled at Harvard University and graduated in 1950. A few years later, he moved to New York City where he worked in the art department at Doubleday. In his spare time, Gorey worked on his own art, and a glowing review in The New Yorker by Edmund Wilson in 1959 of the early works, The Unstrung Harp (1953), The Listing Attic (1954), The Doubtful Guest (1957), and The Object Lesson (1958), helped to launch Gorey’s career. In 1962, he established The Fantod Press to publish his works. A prolific writer, he wrote over one hundred books from 1953 to 1999. Gorey considered himself to be both a writer and an illustrator, and the composition and execution of his texts and drawings speak to his fine artistry and his talent for poetry and drama.

Exhibitions generously sponsored by:

Co-presented by the Loyola University Chicago Libraries.

Image: Edward Gorey, Poster for Dracula, 1977