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Tuesday, 27 May 2014 12:01

The Loyola University Museum of Art in Chicago is Currently Hosting a Two-in-One Edward Gorey Exhibit

Edward Gorey. Edward Gorey.

At first blush, Edward Gorey's popularity might seem something of a puzzle. The prolific author and artist reveled in hermetic scenes of stiff, upper-crust figures in quasi-Edwardian garb and sometimes eyebrow-raising story lines about childhood calamities and grisly murders.

But what might have been limitations to his works turned out to be their very strengths, because of the originality of his vision, his comfortable embrace of absurdity and—perhaps most important—his wonderful, quirky sense of humor.

Who else could create an A-to-Z book about varied disasters befalling children and make it seem charming? Yet he does just that in "The Gashlycrumb Tinies; or, After the Outing" (1963), through his clever, darkly witty turns of phrase and the appealing ridiculousness of the whole thing.

A pair of exhibitions now at the Loyola University Museum of Art—the first ever of this scope in Chicago—offers an exhaustive, fascinating look at this endearing master of the gently spooky or what he called the "mildly unsettling."

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