Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Trip to Edward Gorey's House

Edward Gorey's art is something you don't forget. Even if you can't remember his name, his style stands out. I was introduced to his work through the books of John Bellairs, which I read voraciously as a kid. In high school, I had a poster of the Gashlycrumb Tinies on my wall (my favorite is pictured above). So when my mother mentioned that he had lived on Cape Cod and his house was open as a museum, I jumped at the chance to visit.

The Edward Gorey House is located in Yarmouthport, right off route 6A. Tours are free and run about 20 minutes. Gorey was quite the collector, and the house is filled with his various collections, such as stones that he would pick up on his walks or large rings that he would wear. My favorite was the cheese grater collection, including the Greater Graters and the Lesser Graters. The best part, though, is that all of the Gashlycrumb Tinies are represented throughout the house, and they give you a checklist so you can make sure you've found them all. Some are easy (a little doll is literally falling down the stairs, for "A is for Amy who fell down the stairs") while others are only representative (like a box of tacks on a shelf for "L is for Leo who swallowed some tacks").

The museum houses a unique mix of personal items and career-related objects that makes it seem like very little was done to the place after Gorey's death. I'd heartily recommend a visit to anyone who finds themselves on Cape Cod, Gorey fan or not.

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