September 27–December 21, 2018
This exhibition was organized by the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut.
(Scroll to bottom for related public programs.)
Peculiar, absurd, mystical, unforgettable, these are the worlds of Edward Gorey (1925-2000), the American artist and author. For more than fifty years, he delighted and amused audiences with his spare pen and ink drawings that illustrated tales of hapless children, kohl-eyed swooning maidens, and whimsical creatures. His theatrical work—not least of which was the opening sequence to PBS’s Mystery!—blended the bizarre and the comic with eloquence, ultimately creating fictions that have endured.
Gorey's Worlds is the first exhibition to explore Gorey's artistic inspiration and is centered on his personal art collection, bequeathed to the Wadsworth Atheneum, the only public institution to receive his legacy. His collection features a diverse array of 19th and 20th century European and American artists including Eugène Atget, Odilon Redon, Bill Traylor, Charles Burchfield, and others as well as examples of folk art.
Gorey's imagery and word-play resonate with audiences of all ages and his legacy is international in scope. His gothic sensibility and whimsical humor continue to influence contemporary culture. Among his aesthetic descendants are filmmaker Tim Burton, author Daniel Handler (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket), the rock band Nine Inch Nails, and fashion designer Anna Sui. While his own work has been the subject of exhibitions, Gorey's Worlds offers a fresh perspective on the artist by inviting visitors to step into Gorey’s imagination and viewing the art he collected alongside his own sketches, drawings, prints, and art books. The exhibition presents a unique opportunity to introduce new audiences to Edward Gorey and for existing Gorey admirers to experience his artistic mindset and the visual ecosystem he created.
The exhibition and impressive catalogue have been reviewed in The Wall Street Journal (twice), The New York Review of Books, and The New Yorker.
Visit the Ball State News Center for more information about the exhibition at DOMA.
Image: Edward Gorey, “Without his clippings, Jasper now wrote long letters to Ortenzia, which went unanswered.” Illustration for The Blue Aspic. New York: Meredith Press, 1968. Pen and ink on paper. © The Edward Gorey Charitable Trust.
DOMA regularly schedules programs related to current special exhibitions. For Gorey's Worlds, the following events are offered to enhance the enjoyment and appreciation of this blockbuster show.
September 28: Final Friday: LIFE—Enjoy an after-hours look at Gorey's Worlds as well as music, refreshments, presentations, and activities at this free event.
October 3, 4pm: Educator Exhibition Overview (One CEU available for K-12 teachers; $5 or free for BSU affiliates. Space is limited and registration required.)
October 11, 5–8pm: First Person: Curator Erin Monroe on Edward Gorey and Gorey's Worlds
October 16, 4–6:30pm: Drawing from Gorey's Worlds Teacher Workshop (Two CEUs available for K-12 teachers. $25 or $20 for AEAI members, Ball State community, & DOMA Friends member. Space is limited and registration required.)
October 21, 2pm: Death and Dying Art Tour and Discussion (RSVP to Kara Kissell, 765-747-3420)
October 26: Final Friday: DEATH—Enjoy an after-hours look at Gorey's Worlds as well as music, refreshments, presentations, and activities at this free event.
October 31, 10am: Strange Gorey Story Time (For ages eight and up. $5 per family; registration required.)
November 11, 1:30–4:30pm: Youth Drawing Workshop (For ages 10–15. $30 or $25 for BSU affiliate, $20 for DOMA Friends member. Space is limited and registration required.)
November 17, 3:30pm: Poetry and the Mystery of Gorey (For ages 12 and up. $10 or $5 for BSU affiliate and DOMA Friends member. Space is limited and registration required.)
November 18, 2:30pm: Strange Gorey Story Time (For ages eight and up. $5 per family; registration required.)