Art in America: "To the Letter," Peter Neumeyer and Edward Gorey

John Reed with Peter Neumeyer on the subject of Floating Worlds: The Letters of Edward Gorey & Peter F. Neumeyer

Summer of 1968.  Harry Stanton, editor and vice president of textbook publisher Addison-Wesley, arranged a day of sailing with Harvard Professor Peter Neumeyer and Edward Gorey, who was already well on his way to an impactful legacy.  Gorey, working away on his own books, in addition to editorial and illustrative work that didn't always please him, warmed to the Neumeyer "children's book" project, which fixed its sentiments on a housefly.  Donald and the ...  was the first of three projects Gorey/Neumeyer collaborations, along with a fourth masterwork, tucked away in Neumeyer's secretary since 1969.  A trove of correspondence, rich with insight into the Donald collaboration, and the aesthetic underpinnings of Gorey, an artist notoriously close-lipped as to his methodology and practice.  In a gloriously designed and full-color edition from Pomegranate Books (September, 2011), the artful correspondence—post cards, letters, and even envelopes—is faithfully reproduced. ...

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