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Edward Gorey at the Francis W. Parker School

After graduating from the Stolp School in Wilmette, Gorey traveled with his mother to Ohio, New York, and Florida visiting relatives and he remained with relatives in Bradenton Florida in the fall of 1937.

Gorey entered The Francis W. Parker School in the fall of 1938.

1938-39  Ninth Grade
1939-40  Tenth Grade
1940-41  Eleventh Grade
1941-42 Twelfth Grade, Graduating on June 5, 1942

While little is known about Gorey’s academic career at the Parker School, some of his experience in art can be gleaned from his student colleagues, Joan Mitchell (1942) and Consuelo “Connie” Joerns (1943) and an occasional reference in The Parker Weekly.

According to Consuelo “Connie” Joerns, Gorey didn’t write for the student publications. Research in the student publications of the period did not turn up any prose or poetry written by Gorey.  However, she writes: “Gorey was very much in demand for posters (proms etc) and I am sure that he was involved in student art shows etc. but have no specific memory of this.” Email exchange between Connie Joerns and Tom Michalak 11.7.13.

“Gorey's art teacher was Malcolm Hackett. I call to your attention Patricia Albers' book:  Joan Mitchell, which discusses Hackett. There were four of us (Mitchell, Gorey, Lucia Hathaway & myself) whom he inspired, and who existed as a group in the art studio. “About Malcolm Hackett I can only say he had a profound influence on the four of us. We referred to him as "Mr. H" and the four of us quite frankly adored him. He was a painter, passionate about his work, nothing like the art teachers we had had before. He stood outside the academic system in a way no other teacher did, extraordinary as some of them were. He could not and I believe did not tolerate faculty meetings. He had to have had some special arrangement with the school. The art studio was removed  from the main school, being housed in a one-story building adjacent to a playing field with glass windows and an escape door onto Clark street "two blocks west" of which, Hackett used to say, we should go to see real life.” Email exchange between Connie Joerns and Tom Michalak 11.7.13.

“In her junior and senior years, Joan ran around with the art clique:  Lucia Hathaway (her rival for teacher’s pet), Connie Joerns, and Connies's sort-of-boy fiend, tall, topaz-eyed Edward St. John Gorey.  For Ted Gorey too, Malcolm Hackett served as a compass.  Under the older man’s tutelage, the”fact that I couldn’t paint for beans” seemed curiously relevant to his future as an artist.  Though a newcomer to Joan’s Class of ‘42, Ted had claimed a central position in that class, owing to a jaunty individualism that took the form of odd stunts like painting his toenails green, then strolling barefoot down Michigan Avenue.” Albers, Patricia.  Joan Mitchell.  Lady Painter.  A Life.  Knopf, 2011, p. 89.