‘Gorey’s Worlds’ Exhibition: Explore Edward Gorey’s Personal Collection Of Art That Inspired His Work

Steven SenneAP Images

Fans of the eerie and macabre work of Edward Gorey will soon be able to personally inspect and examine the art that touched and inspired the American artist when The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art hosts the “Gorey’s Worlds” exhibition, which is slated to run from February 10 to May 6, 2018 in Hartford, Connecticut.

This will be the first exhibition of its kind to be held, and as such will feature extensive artwork from Edward Gorey’s personal collection of 130 different treasures, as well as drawings of his own including many that have never been seen by the public before.

Before Gorey died, he chose to hand over the large collection of art that he had amassed to The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, entrusting them with his legacy. Because of this, there is a vast wealth of work with which they have drawn from.

Edward Gorey once said that he was “inspired by practically anything visual or verbal—or even real life,” and the Wadsworth Museum’s new exhibition aims to examine these influences that helped to shape his own unique art and worldview.

“My mission in life is to make everybody as uneasy as possible. I think we should all be as uneasy as possible, because that’s what the world is like.”

“Gorey’s Worlds” will feature an extensive collection of works by some of his favorite and most beloved French artists. Among these are Eugène Delacroix and Édouard Manet along with the more recent 20th century artist Jean Dubuffet who was a maverick sculptor and painter.

Edward Gorey also reportedly had a penchant for the French photographer Eugène Atget, according to The Wall Street Journal, a man of fierce determination who sought to record for posterity the buildings of Paris before they were relegated to rubble with modern architecture swiftly rising up to take their place.

Along with the work of other artists that galvanized the spirit of Gorey, associate curator Erin Monroe explained that personal belongings of Edward will be placed in strategic spots along the way which will be “highlighting the intersections between Gorey’s imaginary worlds and the worlds around him.”

Included in this personal collection are two unconventional fur coats that Edward Gorey once donned. While Monroe noted that he “felt remorse at wearing fur and refused to later in life,” in 1970 he could be seen sporting a lynx coat along with one made out of coyote which had been dyed yellow to create a curious effect, especially considering the rather tall stature of Gorey.

Featured image credit: Steven SenneAP Images

Edward Gorey was also an avid lover of reading and had amassed a collection of 26,000 books, which filmmaker Christopher Seufert captured toward the of Gorey’s life when he visited his house and recorded hours worth of footage showing the artist relaxed at home with his vast collection of art and books surrounding him.

Even though the artist was something of a recluse later in life, Seufert described him as a vivacious individual who reveled in jokes.

“Gorey was one of the funniest people on the planet. He was a tall, gruff, menacing figure, but when you talked to him, he was light and campy and constantly cracking jokes.”

For those interested in learning more about the world of Edward Gorey, the “Gorey’s Worlds” exhibition will be moving to the Tacoma Art Museum in Washington for the summer after it has concluded its run at The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in May.