“Unsettled: The Work of Edward Gorey” Opening at Cranbrook Art Museum

Edward Gorey
Press Releases

Photo by Martha Swope. © Billy Rose Theatre Division, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

Exhibition features artwork and publications from prolific author and illustrator


Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Aug. 30, 2016 — On September 18, Cranbrook Art Museum will open its latest exhibition, Unsettled: The Work of Edward Gorey, on view in the Museum’s deSalle Gallery through March 12, 2017. The exhibition is a collaboration between Cranbrook Art Museum and the Cranbrook Academy of Art Library.

Gorey is known for his masterful pen-and-ink drawings that illustrate his captivating books, conjuring a vaguely Edwardian world of handcars, boater hats, and Dickensian children.

The exhibition at Cranbrook Art Museum will feature many of Gorey’s classic texts as well as his experiments with the physical structure of the book—split-pages, doubled-books, accordion formats, postcard sets, and miniature books.

Also on view are many of Gorey’s illustrations for other authors, such as Samuel Beckett, Edward Lear, John Updike, T.S. Eliot, and H.G. Wells. In addition, Gorey’s work entered the living rooms of millions through his drawings used in the opening credits of the PBS television series, Mystery!

With titles such as The Hapless Child, The Loathsome Couple, The Gashlycrumb Tinies and The Fatal Lozenge, Gorey’s protagonists often meet an untimely demise, yet capture the imagination through Gorey’s dark wit. Despite the subject matter, Gorey’s work transcends the macabre and offers humor that has found contemporary resonance with cultural phenomena from Goth and steampunk to Lemony Snicket and Tim Burton.

His reach extended beyond the page with Tony Award-winning stage and costume designs for the 1977 Broadway production of Dracula. Featured in the exhibition is a nearly seven-foot-tall original poster from the production. Much of the work is on loan to Cranbrook from a local collector, who lovingly assembled the materials over a number of decades.

“In his combined roles as author, illustrator, and designer, Gorey transcended conventional categories, excelling equally in the literary and the visual arts,” says Andrew Blauvelt, Director of Cranbrook Art Museum. “Gorey was able to orchestrate all the elements of a production to create a signature and indelible approach that embraced the world while standing apart from it.” Blauvelt curated the exhibition with Judy Dyki, Director of the Cranbrook Academy of Art Library.

The exhibition is supported by ArtMembers@Cranbrook and the Museum Committee of Cranbrook Art Museum.

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Media Inquiries:
Julie Fracker
Director of Communications
Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum