A is for AMY who fell down the stairs,
B is for BASIL assaulted by bears,
C is for CLARA who wasted away,
D is for DESMOND thrown out of a sleigh …
… and so on, courtesy of abecedarian Edward Gorey, novelist and artist, in his seminal work "The Gashlycrumb Tinies." Gorey, whose ultradetailed pen sketches and carefully chosen words illuminated more than 100 books with faintly Edwardian visions of dank moors, neglected topiary, doomed flappers and darkly mustachioed ne’er-do-wells in raccoon coats, is the subject of a new exhibit at the University of Hawaii-Manoa Art Gallery, in collaboration with the UH Library.
"Musings of Mystery and Alphabets of Agony: The Work of Edward Gorey" runs through Dec. 10. The opening program begins at 2 p.m. today at the campus gallery with a talk by keynote speaker Andreas Brown, co-trustee of the Edward Gorey Charitable Trust. Brown got to know Gorey well as owner of Gotham Book Mart in New York City.
A reception will follow, running until 5 p.m., capped by performances by the Manoa Readers/Theatre Ensemble of Gorey works. Other Gorey events are planned through Dec. 10.
The UH exhibit draws on the collection of Honolulu composer John Carollo, a "dedicated Goreyphile" for more than 35 years, and also personal items from the Edward Gorey Charitable Trust in New York and the Edward Gorey House on Cape Cod, Mass.
Regular gallery hours are from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and from noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Admission is free. Visit www.hawaii.edu/artgallery.