Photography & text by
Mathew M. Duman

the Grotesque 10

Amazing Architectural Sculpture from
Ten American Colleges and Universities

Available for $26.99 each

That's $10 off the cover price!



The word "grotesque" has gathered quite a compelling connotation through the years. While it has come to mean something disgusting and horrifying, it would not be valid to use the word repellent in a list of synonyms. Like a car accident that is at once horrible yet holds our attention as we drive by, the word has intense negative yet alluring qualities. In architectural terms, a grotesque is a sculptural decoration on or in a building. This is not as horrifying as the colloquial definition but can be just as engaging. These sculptures can be focal points of humor, historic commentary, school spirit, lessons in morality as well as the hidden thoughts and desires of their creators. Grotesques occur in such variety that they are an unending source of fascination and inspiration for those persistent enough to seek them out. A place where grotesques are known to congregate is on certain college and university campuses. Mathew Duman been to ten such campuses where they can occur frequently as a feature of a historic architectural style known as Collegiate Gothic. What schools make up the Grotesque 10? Duke University
Durham, North Carolina Northwestern University
Evanston, Illinois Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri Princeton University
Princeton, New Jersey Trinity College
Hartford, Connecticut The University of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois The City College of New York
New York City, New York Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Throughout its 300 pages, this softcover book contains over 500 original black and white photographs. While some show examples of Collegiate Gothic architecture and its many interesting characteristics, most of the images in this book showcase the variety of grotesques you can find on a visit to these campuses.
The Grotesque 10 cover
About the Book
Sample Images


Walking Tours of Yale University

Mathew Duman tour outfitYale University is a great place to spy a wide variety of types of grotesque in their natural habitat as well as an intriguing case study in Collegiate Gothic architecture. Mathew Duman leads walking tours of Yale’s campus located in New Haven, Connecticut. He prefers to call these tours "Grotesque Safaris”, so don’t be surprised to find him leading this trek in a safari outfit and pith helmet!


On his safaris, Mathew points out many of the grotesques and gargoyles that originally inspired him to explore this and other campuses. Those who have never been will find a visit to Yale’s campus to be a fascinating combination of academics, history, art and architecture. Even those who are familiar with the campus will find that there are still many discoveries yet to be made as many of these sculptures still go unnoticed by campus visitors and locals alike. Either way, searching out these works of art can be as much fun as appreciating them!



Grotesque Lectures

Mathew continues his “grotesque safari” in the form of a lecture in which he highlights a variety of architectural sculpture from each school of the Grotesque 10. He also points out many curious aspects of the Collegiate Gothic style of architecture and shows how these features are meant to enhance an institution's identity both on and off the campus. His talk is accompanied by a slide presentation full of examples of his original photography which offer an up close look at this amazing sculpture.


Contact the Author

Mathew M. Duman is a photographer, graphic designer and writer who grew up in Bethany, Connecticut. He attended the grotesque-free campus of Central Connecticut State University but studied abroad in Italy and Britain as well. While in Europe, he developed a fascination with the features of medieval architecture. After graduation, Mathew continued exploring with photographic trips to Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Back in the United States Mathew began exploring the relationship between the medieval architecture of Europe and collegiate architecture in the United States.


Mathew possesses limitless curiosity as well as a appreciation of irony and the comedic. These concepts became key factors in shaping his perspective on this type of sculpture and are a driving force in his exploration of the grotesque.


For more information on Mathew's books, lectures, walking tours, etc.,
please email him at:

Grotesque Beginnings

An Education in the Grotesque: the Gargoyles of Yale University


Mathew began his foray into grotesque sculpture by wandering amidst the Collegiate Gothic buildings of Yale University. There he began photographing and researching these structures and their features, resulting in his first book: An Education in the Grotesque: The Gargoyles of Yale University, which is available at


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