Follow the Stories | El Paso, TX (2012)
Remembering Edward Gorey's Mystery! Artwork
At the June 2011 ANTIQUES ROADSHOW in El Paso, Books & Manuscripts expert Ken Sanders appraised a collection of memorabilia and work by the reclusive American writer and illustrator, Edward Gorey. Sanders estimated the retail value of the entire collection at about $5,000. (Watch the appraisal » )
Edward Gorey (1925-2000) achieved sizeable fame over five decades for his humorous, highly stylized, and usually macabre drawings and books — a body of work he would one day characterize as "literary nonsense." He was the author of more than 100 books, with such titles as The Beastly Baby, The Abandoned Sock, The Loathsome Couple, The Glorious Nosebleed, and The Unknown Vegetable. The popularity of his work was further enhanced beginning in 1980, when the long-running Mystery! series debuted on PBS. The series' opening title sequence featured animations based on Gorey cartoons that depicted amusingly ominous atmospherics — crumbling gravestones and Grecian urns, gaunt figures skulking in shadows or playing croquet in the rain under leafless trees — and other such mysterious happenings.
For a nostalgic trip down Mystery! lane, visit the PBS Masterpiece website to see a clip of the 2004 version of the Mystery! open featuring Gorey's artwork.
(Note: The Mystery! clip is presented without audio, as the music that originally accompanied the title sequence is no longer cleared for use.)
See the See the El Paso, Texas (2012) page for a list of all appraisals from this city.
For more on Edward Gorey and his connection to the Mystery! series, read this transcript of a 1996 interview with Gorey »
Luke Crafton is the senior interactive producer for Antiques Roadshow.