Tuesday, July 29, 2014

More of Edward Gorey's Cape Cod Theater Posters

When you consider Edward Gorey's prodigious output of books, it's remarkable how much effort he put, particularly in his later years, into the theater. He designed productions and sets, and even wrote entire "entertainments." The posters for these productions are distinctive in themselves. His poster for Shakespeare's "Hamlet" shows the influence certainly of M. C. Escher, but the style is unmistakably Mr. Gorey's.

Edward Gorey, Shakespeare's "Hamlet" poster, Cotuit Center for the Arts, signed and numbered edition no. 82/100, 1997

Gorey's poster for his "Stumbling Christmas" includes three of his Figbash characters, or a close variant.
Edward Gorey, "Stumbling Christmas" poster, Theater on the Bay, signed and numbered edition no. 37/100, 1995

Swann Galleries

Note:  Edward Gorey's art never loses its power to surprise and delight. See a few examples of it on this very blog.

Most of the artists who through no fault of their own occasionally appear here don't enjoy entire blogs wholly dedicated to their work, although I think most of them deserve at least one. Edward Gorey is one of those happy exceptions. Irwin Terry's Goreyana blog is not only a lot of fun, it's an outstanding resource.

Speaking of Cape Cod, if you haven't visited the Edward Gorey House, what are you waiting for?


Monday, July 28, 2014

Edward Gorey's Cape Cod Theater Posters

Edward Gorey, who maintained a house in Yarmouth Port on the Cape, created this poster for the Atlantic Theatre Company's second season in Barnstable. Note the triangular arrangement of the three figures.

Edward Gorey, Atlantic Theatre Company poster, signed and numbered edition no. 38/250, 1981

Other posters for the Atlantic Theatre Company from the same sale at Swann Galleries most likely are from the same 1981 summer season.
Edward Gorey,  Late Night Cabaret poster, The Atlantic Theatre Company, signed, 1981

Edward Gorey, Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" poster, The Atlantic Theatre Company, signed, c. 1981
Edward Gorey, Alexander Ostrowsky's "Diary of a Scoundrel" poster, The Atlantic Theatre Company, signed, c. 1981


The following posters were also included in the above lot at Swann Galleries but were made for the Provincetown Theatre Company, also on Cape Cod. They promote "entertainments" written by Mr. Gorey and date from the early 1990's:
Edward Gorey, "Useful Urns" poster, P.A.P.A./Provincetown Theatre Company, signed, 1990

Edward Gorey, "Flapping Ankles" poster, P.A.P.A./Provincetown Theatre Company, 1991

Edward Gorey, "Crazed Teacups" poster, P.A.P.A./Provincetown Theatre Company, 1992

Note:  I'm sure you won't want to miss this blog's other posts about Edward Gorey.

Rare pinback buttons from the Provincetown theatrical productions and others can be seen on the invaluable Goreyana blog.

There are a few other posters here on this blog, although not nearly enough.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Edward Gorey's Mikado Poster

In true 19th century aristocratic fashion, the Mikado enters riding--a penny-farthing! Edward Gorey's 1983 poster for Gilbert & Sullivan's "The Mikado" (1885) reveals the Mikado in his true light as a product of Victorian England, Japanese in name only.

Edward Gorey, "The Mikado" poster, signed and numbered edition, no. 89/100, 1983


Note:  If you like this image, why not check out my other blog posts about Edward Gorey?

There are a few Gilbert & Sullivan posts lying about as well.

Goreyography.com has numerous images from Edward Gorey's production of Gilbert & Sullivan's "The Mikado."


Saturday, July 26, 2014

My Entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #435

Here is my entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #435 for July 21, 2014. The drawing is by Michael Crawford.
"So much for the free valet parking."

Here are a few other captions I did not submit:
"Under the circumstances, you've done a remarkable job parking."
"Whoops! Time to feed the meter."
"Say, there's a nail in your tire."
"The neighborhood just isn't what it used to be."

July 28, 2014 Update: The Finalists

Note: Last week's caption contest juxtaposed characters from Moby-Dick and The Wizard of Oz. I had neither sails nor broomstick with which to navigate. Now that's a horse of a different color! See the unwizardly results of Contest #434 and call me Ishmael.

Michael Crawford was in attendance at the Best of the Rejection Collection Event. The cartoonist did not sing the lead role in Phantom of the Opera.


Friday, July 25, 2014

The Unintriguing Fortune Cookie

I will admit only that I'm not intrigued.

Note:  This blog has a goodly collection of Chinese fortunes, each more intriguing than this one.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Self-Serving Fortune Cookie

Always be wary of the possible unstated motives of writers. For example, is this fortune really my destiny? Well, it is, but that's besides the point.

In a related example, you love this blog.

Note:  You wouldn't think all those little paper fortunes would necessarily be good subjects for a blog, but I believe in leaving no stone unturned.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Why Even Fortune Cookies Need Proofreaders

Everything written should be proofread, even in fortune cookies. Can you spot the error?

"There are 356 days in a year, may all 365 of your dreams come true."

That's right, the comma should be a semicolon. In an ideal world, I'd have secretaries, research assistants, and fact-checkers helping me with the day's blogging chores, not to mention a few proofreaders. As things stand, no one has ever pointed out to me even a single spelling error, a grammatical faux pas, or a missing Oxford comma, leaving the entire proofreading burden on me. I did once have a reader question my slightly errant use of the word bucolic, but his criticism was aimed more at the non-Wodehousian tenor of my Wodehouse book review than at my failure to consult the thesaurus.

Note:   Anyway, should you note a dangling participle here or some similar crime against the English language, by all means let me know. For that matter, I'm interested in any correction that will make the blog better. Or more bucolic.

Then, once you've corrected my grammar, please take a look at other fortune cookies that have come my way and ask yourself, is there anything this blogger won't write a post about? Alas, there I go ending a sentence with a preposition.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Jim Dine for the Cape and Islands Chamber Music Festival

Artist Jim Dine lends his formidable watercolor technique to a promotional poster for the Cape and Islands Chamber Music Festival's second season in the summer of 1981. This copy of the poster, inscribed by the artist a few months earlier, seems undervalued at $62.

Jim Dine, Cape and Island Chamber Music Festival, Second Season, August 1981
Lithographic poster inscribed "for Matt[hew Wysocki] from Jim Apr. 1981"


Note:  Jim Dine is no stranger to this blog's readers. See other examples of this pop artist's work.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Peter Arno: Got Milk?

This preposterous drawing by Peter Arno stands--or crawls--on its own. The caption is not only weak but rather superfluous.

Peter Arno, "Can Papa milk the cow?"
Illustration House, Lot 109, June 2, 2007
Note:  You'll find more of Peter Arno's Grade A work all over this blog.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tourists at Niagara Falls

Platt D. Babbitt made his living photographing tourists on the American side of Niagara Falls. This daguerrotype of visitors in their finery is about 160 years old. The image is quite appealing and it sold for $2,750 with the buyer's premium.

Platt D. Babbitt, Daguerrotype, c. 1854