Written by Ron MacCloskey
During Charles Addams lifetime, a dozen books of his drawings were published starting with Drawn & Quartered in 1942 to Creature Comforts in 1981. Another book was released entitled The World of Charles Addams in 1991, three years after his death. His work has been exhibited at several museums including Fogg Art in Rhode Island, School of Design in New York and the University of Pennsylvania Museum. He was given a special award by the Mystery Writers as well as the Yale Humor Award. Charles Samuel Addams was one of our country's most famous cartoonists, alphabetically and artistically he was the first in his field. New York Art Critic John Russell said, "He is an American landmark, one of the few by which one and all have learned to steer." The actor Boris Karloff, who wrote the forward to Addams first compilation of drawings, wrote this : "He has the extraordinary faculty of making the normal appear idiotic when confronted by the abnormal, as in his scenes of cannibals, skiers and skaters. I hope I will not be accused of undue vanity if I publicly thank Mr. Addams for immortalizing me in the person of the witch's butler."
Charles Addams House
522 Elm Street, Westfield, NJ
A Charles Addams Art Scholarship was founded in 1991 and the first award was given out in 1992. (Addams himself graduated Westfield High School in 1929). It is awarded annually to a Westfield High art student who is majoring in art to further their education. Addams' boyhood home at 522 Elm Street (pictured above) was declared a landmark by the Westfield Historic Society. A plaque pointing out the importance of this structure was placed by the Westfield Preservation Committee the nex year (see plaque below). In New York, at the main branch of the New York Public Library at 42nd street and 5th Avenue, there is the Charles Addams Gallery located on the third floor. The newest project that just started development is the founding of the Charles Addams Museum in Westfield. The search is on for a suitable building and hopes to be opened by January 2002, on the 90th anniversary of the birth of Addams.
Special thanks to Ron MacCloskey, Founder of the Charles Addams Art Scholarship Fund, for contributing this article.
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