Edward Gorey received little formal training as an artist during his lifetime, but the first exhibition of his drawings was held at the Mandrake Book Store in Cambridge (MA) while he was still a student at Harvard.
Gorey believed that his artistic talent came in part from his maternal great-grandmother, Helen St. John Garvey, who had been a greeting card designer. And, interestingly, one of his stepmothers was a cabaret performer who sang “La Marseillaise” while playing the guitar in the movie Casablanca (Corinna Mura, 1909–1965).
Elephant House, the artist’s home on Strawberry Lane in Yarmouth Port (MA), was made into a museum after his death. It is open seasonally, and sometimes hosts special exhibitions of his work. •