“Gorey Preserved” Exhibition Opens in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library
NEW YORK, February 10, 2012 –

The Rare Book and Manuscript Library presents a major exhibition of works by the idiosyncratic illustrator, designer, and writer, Edward Gorey (1925-2000), beginning March 5 and running through July 27, 2012.


The exhibition draws from the large and important collection of Gorey's works donated to the Columbia University Libraries by noted architectural historian Andrew Alpern in 2010.

The extensive collection, which contains over 700 items, includes nearly every edition of every work published by Gorey, in addition to illustrations for dust jackets and magazines, etchings, posters, and design ephemera. By any measure, this is a major gathering of Gorey's work.

GOREY writing zealously

The exhibition also includes original, limited edition etchings, posters, books written and illustrated by Gorey, books written by others but illustrated by Gorey, books whose cover art was created by Gorey, foreign translations of Gorey books, postcards and Christmas cards, theater-related materials, Dracula-related materials, LP record jackets and CD cover art, Metropolitan Opera and New York City Ballet-related items, various stuffed creatures, photographs of Gorey, and a fur parka that he owned.

An opening reception and panel discussion with Karen Wilkin, Andreas Brown, and Andrew Alpern will be held on Wednesday, March 7 at 6pm at the Italian Academy, 1161 Amsterdam Avenue, to kick off the exhibit. All three experts will explore Gorey the man, the meaning hidden in his books, and the historical influences on his art.

Born in Chicago, Edward Gorey attended Harvard after WWII, and then became an illustrator for Doubleday Anchor in New York City. At the same time, he began writing and illustrating his own distinctive works, in a style that evoked a fin-de-siecle atmosphere. Gorey is perhaps best known for the animated opening sequence to the long-running PBS television series, Mystery! In 1978, he won a Tony for best costume design for work he did for Dracula, starring Frank Langella.

Andrew Alpern is a noted architectural historian and attorney. He has an extensive interest in and role in historic preservation. The author of nine books and scores of articles, Mr. Alpern’s interest in Gorey dates back his personal interactions with the illustrator at the Gotham Book Mart.  Gotham owner, Andreas Brown, took an early interest in Gorey and helped promote his work through his store. In 1980, Mr. Alpern published a collection of ephemera by Gorey.

For more information on the exhibition, reception, panel and hours please see: /content/libraryweb/indiv/rbml.html or call 212-854-5590.

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library owns over 500,000 rare books in some 20 book collections and almost 28 million manuscripts in nearly 3,000 separate manuscript collections. It is particularly strong in English and American literature and history, classical authors, children‘s literature, education, mathematics and astronomy, economics and banking, photography, the history of printing, New York City politics, librarianship, and the performing arts. Individual collections are as eclectic as they are extensive. For more information, please see: /content/libraryweb/indiv/rbml.html

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 11 million volumes, over 150,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, and graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 22 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 500 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources: library.columbia.edu.

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