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G is for Gorey – C is for Chicago: The Collection of Thomas Michalak

Thu, Apr 3, 2014

headshot_thomas_michalakTo truly understand Gorey and what motivated his artwork, one must look back over the course of his life and learn about what makes him tick. Co-presented by the Loyola University Chicago Libraries, G is for Gorey delves deeper into the life of Edward Gorey by focusing on his biography – from Chicago to Cape Cod. It features books and illustrations for book jackets, magazine articles, and children’s books, many of which are fanciful and frightful.

Works in the exhibition are drawn almost exclusively from the collection of Thomas Michalak, a Loyola alumnus (class of 1963) and board member of the Edward Gorey House in Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, who began collecting Gorey works in the early 1970s. Loyola’s Cudahy Library has officially established the Thomas J. Michalak Edward Gorey Collection in Special Collections thanks to Michalak’s generous donation of over 1,100 items.

“[As a library], we try to collect all kinds of materials from very scholarly things to children’s literature to novels. [Gorey] is unique, so having his materials is a nice compliment to the things we already have and it can show our students that there is no single way to write things or to illustrate things,” said Robert Seal, dean of libraries at Loyola.

'Elegant Enigmas' and 'G is for Gorey' have been highly popular with the Chicago public.   Photo: Brittany Langmeyer.

‘Elegant Enigmas’ and ‘G is for Gorey’ have been highly popular with the Chicago public. Photo: Brittany Langmeyer.

In an interview with Nicole Brodsky, assistant to the dean for programming & outreach for Loyola Libraries, Michalak explains what he would most like the public to know about Gorey.

“I really liked Gorey’s sense of humor and wit, albeit sometimes subtle, so I started collecting Gorey because I liked his sense of humor… He was a voracious reader and often read a book several times over the years. He liked to cook. He loved cats. He was an inveterate collector of objects that interested him, whether they were salt and pepper shakers, graters, engravings, or books. And lastly, he worked very hard at his writing and art as a freelancer taking commissions for book jackets, magazine illustrations, working with the Gotham Book Mart [in New York], whatever it took for him to make a living.”

Admission to the Museum: General $8, Seniors $6, Non-Loyola students under 25 with ID $2, Free for Loyola students with ID and members of Loyola staff


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