Whether or not you know him by name, you’re probably familiar with the style of Chicago-born writer and illustrator Edward Gorey. Gorey’s fingerprint can be found on works spanning over 100 books, publishing, theater design and direction, and even television’s Masterpiece Mystery.
The Loyola University Museum of Art highlights Gorey’s whimsical sense of stylistic macabre in two current exhibits, running through June 15. Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey features over 170 works including original pen-and- ink illustrations, preparatory sketches, unpublished drawings, and theatrical costume designs. G is for Gorey—C is for Chicago: The Collection of Thomas Michalak draws from the private collection of a Loyola alumnus to examine Gorey’s “fanciful and frightful illustrations for book jackets, magazine articles, and children’s books.” Visit LUMA on Tuesdays for free admission and extended hours until 8 p.m.
Fans of the idiosyncratic worlds of Wes Anderson or Lemony Snicket (who undoubtedly count him as an influence) will appreciate Gorey’s wickedly clever, self-sustaining microcosms. Be prepared to laugh out loud in the galleries at his poetic disposal of unfortunate children in original pen and ink from the Gashlycrumb Tinies, marvel at Gorey’s beautifully illustrated envelopes addressed to his mother (on Lakewood Drive), and imagine life imitating art via his theatrical set and costume design.
Loyola University Museum of Art
820 N Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611