To those with an absurdist sense of humor and fondness for drawing, Edward Gorey is the beloved author and illustrator of such tales as The Doubtful Guest, The Curious Sofa, and The Loathsome Couple. To television viewers, he’s the creator of the animation that opens Mystery! on PBS. To theatergoers, he’s the Tony Award-winning set and costume designer behind 1977 rendition of Dracula. No matter how you know him, there’s no denying he’s a talented and beloved American artist and author.
The Edward Gorey House is a very special place that is dedicated to celebrating and preserving the life and works of Edward Gorey and honoring his legacy. In 1979 Edward Gorey purchased the 200 year-old sea captain’s home at 8 Strawberry Lane on the Yarmouth Port Common, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. After his death in 2000 the house became a museum, dedicated to Gorey’s life and work. The House displays his diverse and extraordinary talents and reflects his distinct personality.
I reached out to Gregory Hischak, the Edward Gorey House Curator, to discus more about this unique man, the museum and how TheEdward Gorey House uses products from PinSOurce to promote the work they do.
PS: How do you use the materials from PinSource within your organization?
GH: PinSource produces our annual membership pins and has done so ever since 2005.
PS: Why are the products important?
GH:The Annual Membership Pin is, along with the collateral that it is tied in with, a key component of our yearly exhibit. The image is used on all email communications and is prominent in our social media. The pin is mailed to current members, used by docents and, of course, it is also sold in our gift shop. These pins become Gorey Collectibles and there are more than a few collectors out there who have every pin the House has ever made available.
PS:Can you talk a little about what EGH does in relation to Edward Gorey’s legacy?
GH:The Edward Gorey House is, as the name suggests, Gorey’s house in Yarmouth Port, MA. This is his home that he lived and worked, collected and passed away in. We are not the trustees of his estate or licensees of Gorey’s works though we have a pretty cordial accessibility to the Edward Gorey Charitable Trust’s archive of original art. From them and from the House items we build a new exhibit every year. With Gorey, who had such a myriad of interests and abilities and was keenly prolific, each exhibit from year to year is quite different and this allows us to really re-invent the House and showcase another aspect of Gorey every year for visitors.
PS: For a person not familiar with EG work, what would you say is important for people to know or understand about him?
GH: Edward has a very distinctive style and sensibility that runs through all his work, whether it be his own books, the work he illustrated for other authors, his set designs, etchings, etc. Always there is formal macabre whimsy running through everything. While Gorey’s work is fatalist, surreal and even a bit murderous it is also invariably very very funny. His humor always turns what might be just stark into something delightful. Getting that across to visitors is the primary goal of the House.
PS: Are there any exciting upcoming events in the New Year at EGH that our readers should know about?
GH: The House will re-open with the 2016 Exhibit on April 15, 2016. We’re still wrestling over the name though “The Mysterious Mayonnaise” had a run for a while before being discarded. Our annual summer childrens festival Fantastagorey Day will be Saturday, August 6th. This is a free all-ages event that engages kids in readings, book-making, creature making, games and a lot of general mayhem. There are always a lot of other things that come up and becoming Friends with the House on Facebook is a great way to keep up on the things we have going on.
GH: I think there’s no doubt, people who have visited us have found the Edward Gorey House to be one of the most interesting, unique small museums in America. it is evolving, educational, mysterious and a lot of fun. Plus, you can always buy a pin in the gift shop.
All Images Courtsey of the Edward Gorey Charitable Trust.
If you’d like to visit the Edward Gorey House it’s located at:
8 Strawberry Lane
Yarmouth Port, MA 02675
Edward Gorey House 2016 Hours of Operation:
April 15 – July 3 Thurs/Fri/Sat 11am – 4pm; Sun 12-4pm.
July 6 – October 9 Wed/Thurs/Fri/Sat 11am – 4pm; Sun 12-4pm.
October 14 – Dec 31 Fri/Sat 11am – 4pm; Sun 12-4pm.
Lean more: www.edwardgoreyhouse.org