Edward Gorey Art: Two Chicago Exhibitions

Edward Gorey Art: Two Chicago Exhibitions
Poster for Dracula, 1977 by Edward Gorey.

Humorously sadistic. Frightfully delightful. Curiously macabre. These are just a few of the common phrases used to describe the witty, eccentric style of Edward Gorey's artwork. Fans of his quirky illustrations will get the rare opportunity to see his work in person at the Loyola University Museum of Art located at 820 N. Michigan Avenue from February 15th through June 15th, 2014. There will be two exhibitions in Chicago: “Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey” and “G is for Gorey–C is for Chicago: The Collection of Thomas Michalak.”

Edward Gorey was an artist, writer, and designer born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Before going on to Harvard, he attended the Francis W. Parker School and also studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1943. The touring exhibitions arrive in Chicago at an appropriate time, as his birthday was February 22nd, 1925. His style is rather quirky and weird, bringing about a comical look at the untimely deaths of his exceptionally well-dressed characters set in Victorian and Edwardian times. His perfect execution of juxtaposing humor with bizarre death scenarios has earned him a large cult following. Gorey published many popular books (some under pen names using anagrams of his name, like Ogdred Weary) over the course of his life, including The Unstrung Harp, The Doubtful Guest, and four Amphigorey anthology editions that are the most easily accessible. His art may be most memorable from the animated intro to the 1980 PBS series “Mystery!”


This combined exhibition (co-presented by Loyola University Chicago Libraries and LUMA with the cooperation of the Edward Gorey Charitable Trust) marks the first time the work of Edward Gorey will be displayed in his hometown of Chicago. Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey has been touring the states, offering over 170 works of art including unpublished works, pen-and-ink illustrations, sketches, book cover jackets, and theatrical costume designs. G is for Gorey is a group of works that Thomas Michalak has been collecting since the 1970s. This exhibit will focus on Edward Gorey's life on a more personal level, as well as displaying the legacy of his work illustrating magazine articles and children's books.

The Art of Edward Gorey runs February 15th, 2014 - June 15th, 2014. General admission $8 (seniors 65+ $6) Wednesdays through Sundays 11am-6pm. Free on Tuesdays 11am-8pm. For more info, visit

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    Kristin Wicks

    Horror movie fanatic. Sculptor of oddities. Owner of Chicago Creepster Yahoo!, festival volunteer, writer, artist, social media freelance. Officially a biomechanical Frankenlady. Doing what I can to support our spooky community.

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