Edward Gorey, author and illustrator, remembered in Google Doodle

22 Feb 2013

Google is celebrating the late American author and artist Edward Gorey with a doodle depicting illustrations in Gorey’s distinctive and macabre style on what would have been his 88th birthday.

Gorey, who was born on 22 February 1925 in Chicago, Illinois, is also depicted in the ‘G’ part of the Google logo today on the search giant’s homepage, along with the character from his book The Doubtful Guest. A selection of other characters grace the rest of the logo.

While Gorey did not have any formal art training, he spent one semester at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1943.

He attended Harvard University from 1946 to 1950 where he studied French literature and also became friends with the future poet Frank O’Hara.

Gorey worked in the art department of the publishing company Doubleday in New York for eight years and illustrated works such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula and T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.

The Unstrung Harp, Gorey’s first independent work, was published in 1953. In all, he wrote more than 100 books and he gained a cult following for his macabre, Victorian and Gothic-like illustrations.

The music video for the song The Perfect Drug from the band Nine Inch Nails, for instance, was inspired by Gorey’s illustrations.

One of his most famous books is The Gashlycrumb Tinies, which was published in 1963. The work tells the story of 26 children and their deaths, with each child representing a letter of the alphabet and illustrated by Gorey’s distinctive black and white style.

He also worked on designs for theatre and won a Tony award for best costume design for his designs for the 1977 Broadway production of Dracula.

Gorey died on 15 April 2000 in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, at the age of 75.

The late Edward Gorey, pictured in the kitchen of his home at Yarmouth, Cape Cod in August 1999. Image via Wikimedia Commons

The late Edward Gorey, in the kitchen of his home at Yarmouth, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in August 1999. Image via Wikimedia Commons

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic