I could never claim to be a fan of Edgar Allen Poe. I have
never read any of his works from start to finish. But I was
and am familiar with him, and that’s even before seeing the
John Cusack film “The Raven” a number of years ago.
So, when my wife and I were planning out our spontaneous
weekend trip to Richmond, Virginia, (does one actually plan
a spontaneous trip? hmmmm), the Poe Museum in the
rejuvenated Shockoe Bottom district of downtown Richmond was
high on our list.
The Poe Museum, housed in four small buildings, with the
entry / gift shop / parlor room (part of the tour) located
in an historic 1740’s building, cited as the oldest original
building in Richmond, takes the visitor through Poe’s life
from birth through his formative years. The parlor contains
furniture from the homes in which he lived, the bed he slept
in as a boy and other furnishings from his boyhood home.
Within the other three buildings, the museum contains a
large model of Richmond during Poe’s time, with the
locations of the homes in which Poe lived — none of which
are in existence today. Exhibits showing early and first
editions of Poe’s works including an 1845 copy of The Raven
and one of only 12 known copies of Tamerlane and Other
Fans and acquaintances (like us) are treated to the most
extensive collection of Poe artifacts including his vest, a
trunk, a walking stick, even a lock of his hair, which
admittedly, I couldn’t see. Perhaps it’s time for bifocals?
Also found in the exhibits building, at least on our visit,
was a series of illustrations by the artist James William
Carling of the poem The Raven, along with an exhibit, under
construction, displaying rather dark, movie poster size
illustrations of some of Poe’s works.
With all of the excellent artifacts, original works and
exhibits, the Poe Museum turned out to be a couple of well
spent hours of educational, informative, enlightening, and
Photo Credits: CanuckatLarge