In the spirit of Halloween, a fun and spooky object in our library collection is a copy of The Gorey Alphabet by Edward Gorey. Edward Gorey (1925-2000), American writer and artist, child prodigy and high achiever has nestled his way into the hearts of those fond of dark themes, Victorian and Edwardian settings, and pen-and-ink drawings.
The Cooper Hewitt Library has collected several of his works. This one was published in the US in 1960, as The Fatal Lozenge: an Alphabet. Gorey produced several books in his alphabet series, each with clever verse. This alphabet book written for adults is filled with lyrical four-line poems with Gorey-esque dark illustrations. Each page is a miniature story with ominous and macabre twists. Beautifully rendered, these images continue to delight the reader and fan of illustrations.
The museum’s collection also has several Edward Gorey works, including one that speaks of his fascination with ballet and movement. Gorey’s Poster: New York City Ballet, features a play on black and white to highlight the beauty of the ballerina’s feet.
Please enjoy one of our spooky works during this Halloween season!
Nilda Lopez is the Library Technician at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library.