Just in time for Halloween , the Ocean City Free Public Library unveils an extensive show of Frankenstein art today. The art, assembled by Frankenstein and Boris Karloff buff Ron MacCloskey, is “the most extensive collection of Frankenstein artwork ever shown at a single venue.”
Among the over 50 portraits to be displayed is one of Elvis and Priscilla Presley. “He loved old horror movies, especially Frankenstein,” Priscilla told MacCloskey. It is the work of British cartoonist Paul Garner and cleverly alludes to the couple’s enthusiasm for the star-crossed monster. The portrait is autographed by Priscilla.
The presentation features works from 25 artists, including famed cartoonists such as Gary Larson of “The Far Side” and Tom Wilson, of “Ziggy.” But there’s much more: Owner MacCloskey has been collecting Frankenstein-related stuff since he was 7, and knows that fiction’s most famous monster has been pictured in everything from greeting cards to ads to stamps to political cartoons to album covers to lottery tickets, and much more.
The collection has been compiled by Ron MacCloskey a professional actor, Groucho Marx impersonator and creator of the “Lucky Guess Game Show featured at the library during First Night. An all-things-Frankenstein exhibit that was a popular fixture in the atrium outside the Ocean City Free Public Library last October will return this year just in time for a new Frankenstein resurgence.
To most it is a far stretch from Frankenstein to Global Warming. However, according to MacClosky it is a natural transition as he explains it in the following manner. “Most climatologists will tell you that the year of 1816 was known as “The Year Without A Summer,” because it was cooler than most and rained more than usual.
Well, that weather pattern in Europe forced Mary Shelley and her troupe to stay indoors during their summer vacation. Bored and with nothing to do, they decided to have a contest. That contest was a ghost writing competition. Whoever came up with the scariest story would win. Everyone came up with an idea the very next day, but it took a while for Mary to think of one.
The story that she came up with was…Frankenstein. So the next time you are forced to stay inside, tired of playing video games, board games, or watching TV, just pick up a pen and start writing.”
The show is being showcased in the Atrium of the Ocean City Free Public Library’s main entrance, 17th Street and Simpson Avenue, Ocean City, NJ The Frankenstein exhibit is open during regular library hours, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.