Posted on September 8th, 2010

Student News

Summer 2010 – Nicki Stein

The Edward Gorey House exterior

This summer I worked as an intern and docent at the Edward Gorey House, a small museum dedicated to the life and work of the somewhat eccentric, wholly fascinating author and illustrator, Edward Gorey. My love of Gorey’s bizarre, sometimes nonsensical stories and blackly comedic, seemingly anachronistic illustrations, have only been enhanced by the small strange details I’ve learned about his life through docenting and conversing with the directors of the museum. His undying and life long love of cats, his penchant for memorizing his favorite soap operas line by line, as well as his insatiable interest in literature from all corners of the world. I got to know the people who knew Edward in his lifetime as well. The director of the museum, Rick Jones, was a close friend of Edward’s and was actually sitting in the room with him when, in the year 2000, Edward Gorey threw his head back laughing, promptly had a heart attack and passed away.

Working in a small museum environment has been extremely rewarding to me, as I have been able to work so closely with the wonderful people who run the museum, and have such close contact with the artworks as well as with the Gorey enthusiasts who come from all over the world to see the place where he spent so time cross-hatching and inventing story after story. I was even able to aid in organizing the Gorey House’s annual children’s event, “Fantastagorey: A Children’s Day Celebration.” Introducing a new generation of fans to Gorey’s work and legacy was a joy in and of itself.

Ombledrum, The Edward Gorey House Cat

Working in this museum I feel I’ve gained more than just internship experience. I’ve gained close insight into the life of a man whose work I have long admired. It’s not often that one gets to so intimately observe the life and work of a favorite artist. I feel extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to work at the Edward Gorey House, which has allowed me to explore the world of museum work while simultaneously exploring the strange universe once inhabited by Edward Gorey himself.